Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said the city is hiring three private security firms to guard businesses after widespread looting last weekend. The city is paying Illinois Security Professionals, AGB Investigative Services and Monterrey Security to provide more than 100 guards “to protect the local retail shops, grocery stores and pharmacies that community members rely on every single day.”
The city said in a news release that the guards will be unarmed and will not have policing powers, “but are another set of eyes and ears to support efforts to deter looters.” The guards will wear visible identification, the release said.
The city has set aside $1.2 million for security providers through an emergency procurement process. But the release said the final costs “will be determined by the personnel and resources utilized on an as-needed basis this weekend.”
Last night, Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st Ward) tweeted his concerns about the city hiring Monterrey, a politically-connected firm with a controversial track record. La Spata tweeted that the city was seeking 500 private guards, and he expressed concern about them being accountable.