Downey poised to hire security firm for Downtown

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DOWNEY – The City Council on Tuesday will consider hiring a security firm to patrol Downtown Downey and other city facilities.

City officials are recommending a one-year contract with American Guard Services Inc., which was one of nine businesses to bid on the security contract.

At an annual cost of $189,000, American Guard Services wasn’t the lowest bidder but city officials touted the company’s experience working with local governments. Downey officials also said the company’s “pricing reflects compliance with California’s minimum wage requirements, while also allowing the company to keep a low employee turnover rate, as compared to other companies in the industry.”

The security company will be tasked with patrolling the downtown parking structure and a one block radius, stretching from the alleyway at 3rd Street to Firestone Boulevard.

Security officers – who will not be armed – will also be on-call to help at Downey parks and facilities, such as the Rio Hondo Event Center and Barbara J. Riley Community and Senior Center.

At the community center, guards will provide security for reservation groups of 100-plus people, while the theater may use security personnel as ushers or to enforce the boundaries of beer and wine gardens.

The proposal by American Guard Services charges $22.24 per hour ($31.14 per hour for overtime and holidays). The hourly rate increases slightly to $22.99 in fiscal year 2020-21 ($32.19 holidays and overtime).

The two other security firms interviewed by the city of Downey, Immediate Guard Service and Absolute International Security, offered security services at hourly rates of $20 and $20.80, respectively.

NewsEric Pierce