The City of Prince George recently ran the pilot Downtown Host Team Initiative from July 10 to September 10 in partnership with Paladin Security, tourism Prince George and outreach workers from the Association Advocating for Women and Children (AWAC). This program was aimed to help foster a safe, positive atmosphere for downtown businesses, residents, workers and all who visited the area.
In the Program, the pilot team worked hourly shifts from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, Monday to Saturday, to connect people to services, welcome visitors and tourists and build relationships within the downtown community. Paladin Officers worked two shifts to cover the day as security was the constant role in the program with the other two agencies covering half each. Paladin's primary role was to monitor for problem behavior, provide protection and, if necessary, report issues to the police.
Paladin Security Prince George Operations Manager, Jason Cage elaborated,
Getting the Paladin name out in the community has helped us establish an even greater relationship with the people of Prince George. I love the fact that we had our own Security Officers roaming the streets and having the opportunity to provide a security presence in a troubled downtown core is valuable to everyone involved.
The whole experience was a great one for our team as we were able to inform and educate the public of our role in security, which is to observe and report while providing a safer atmosphere with knowledgeable backup. We were also able to build a stronger relationship with the RCMP, businesses, local user groups and the public.
Due to Paladin's recent successes working with the City of Prince George and our constantly expanding business coverage, we have been able to build a strong reputation and earn the community's trust, helping with the overall success of executing our role in the pilot program."
Throughout the duration of the pilot program, participants collected qualitative and quantitative data and recorded incidents and interactions with downtown visitors and residents. A program review will be conducted this fall, which will be followed by a decision whether to continue the program next summer.
Since the program's conclusion, Paladin has been contacted to provide mobile patrols of city facilities in the downtown core and is now quoting on providing a static officer/mobile mix to patrol four city facilities including the City Hall.