Visitors to the Fordham Road Business Improvement District will note a new addition this season: a holiday security patrol established to keep people safe and help shoppers navigate the business corridor.
The uniformed security guards patrol the corridor on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. Patrols began on Friday, November 27 and will continue through the end of December.
On Friday, December 4, the BID held a press conference to introduce five security guards and one supervisor.
Although the security guards are unarmed, they plan to monitor the corridor for crime and work closely with Fordham Road police precincts.
The guards hail from ABM Security, the same firm that patrols the Times Square BID. The Fordham Road BID patrol is a pilot; the BID could hire the security guards year-round, executive director Wilma Alonso said.
“So far we have had a lot of good feedback,” Alonso said. “With so much foot traffic [on Fordham Road], it would be nice to have the patrol [year-round].”
The guards not only secure the corridor, they will also keep shoppers informed and happy. Foot traffic on Fordham Road nearly doubles during the holiday season, Alonso said.
“[The guards] will be more like ambassadors,” Alonso said. “They’ll provide information to shoppers, give directions and help distribute maps.”
Automotive Realty Corp., Monroe College, Councilman Joel Rivera and Assemblyman Nelson Castro have sponsored the patrol. The BID had been unable to hire security guards until the sponsors chipped in. When the holiday season ends, the BID will determine whether it can afford to add a year-round patrol to the marketing campaigns and sanitation patrols it already offers. A year-round patrol would cost the BID up to $500,000.
Alonso hopes the holiday patrol will yield concrete data on how useful a year-round patrol would be, she said.
For more information on the BID visit www.fordhamroadbid.org.
Reach reporter Amanda Marinaccio at 718 742-3394 or firstname.lastname@example.org