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Cost to provide security for homeless and migrants rises from $400,000 to $3 million

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(The Center Square)- The city of Denver is considering revising a $400,000 contract for a private security firm to provide security for the city’s unhoused and migrant shelter sites for an additional $3 million.

The original contract, which was set to run for the entirety of 2024, was between the city of Denver and Advanced Professional Security — Colorado, L.L.C. However, the city is now revising this contract, which is projected to cost an additional $3 million to extend it until the end of 2024, for a new total of $3.4 million, according to city documents.

The contract revision is being reviewed Tuesday by the city’s Finance & Governance Committee.

The original agreement for $400,000 was needed, the city stated, “because Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., the current security personnel service provider contracted with the city was unable to keep up and meet the rapidly changes needs of the city.”

The agreement states that the new contract is needed due to the constant service requests for security in 2024. The new requests include 24/7 security at facilities, vehicle patrols for the micro-community sites under construction, and the need for quick response times.

In July 2023, the Mayor declared a state of local disaster emergency due to the influx of unsheltered residents. This emergency was extended five separate times before expiring on Dec. 31, 2023. It allowed the city to bypass the bidding process and pay for services through an emergency purchase.

“Security is a key component of providing a safe environment in newcomer and traditional shelter systems alike. The contracts you reference are for on-call purposes, meaning funds will be spent as needed,” said Jon Ewing from the mayor’s communications office in an email to The Center Square.

“The allotted amounts were decided in January when nearly 5,000 newcomers were in a shelter and as many as 10 facilities in operation,” Ewing said. “While we are hopeful that our pivot to more sustainable programs will not necessitate a large shelter response, we must prepare for the possibility. Again, funds will be spent as needed.”

Initially, the contract was used to fill any gaps in security during the city’s influx of security requests for unhoused and migrant shelters citywide in the second half of 2023.

The services between the city and Advanced Professional Security – Colorado, L.L.C include foot patrols, the visual presence of security, observing and reporting any illegal activities, and mobile patrolling to discourage any suspicious behavior, activity, or damage at the shelters.

This contract excludes security for Denver International Airport.

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