In news intended to make you feel safer on downtown Dallas streets--where 11 people were shot a month ago in a single incident--says here that Dallas-based Safeguard Security Holdings will take over the Dallas Central Business District Safety Patrol staff. Apparently, the business owners who pay for the patrol--you know, the folks dressed in black baseball caps and Downtown Safety Patrol patches that make 'em look like a cross between parking enforcers and Boy Scouts--felt their own efforts weren't doing the trick and decided to go with the same company that provides security for the likes of ExxonMobil Global Services Co. Safeguard's an interesting company: Its CEO is also the head of an investment fund (locally based Pegasus Funds, LLC) with money in Safeguard; its president is a former FBI Special Agent; and its chairman of the board is also the president of a greeting card company. Apparently, local business owners weren't happy shelling out $1.5 million annually for the some 30 safety patrollers and went with Safeguard. Says in a report commissioned by Safeguard the private security guard thing's a pretty decent business--worth about $37 billion in 2003 alone, unless you're actually doing the patrolling. Says here those folks make about $12.50 an hour to ride bikes in downtown and call the cops when there's real trouble. --Robert Wilonsky
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