SAN DIEGO — The San Diego City Council unanimously approved nearly $27 million in security contracts Monday to address public safety concerns at city parks, libraries and other facilities.
The funding covers a $24.9 million agreement with Allstate Security Services and a $1.9 million agreement with Able Patrol and Guard. Both contracts will cover security for city facilities for the next five years. Roughly $1.5 million of the $4.4 million to be used during the agreements’ first year will cover security at the city’s libraries.
The spending is a dramatic increase from the city’s security budgets in recent years, primarily due to an increase in homeless residents and increased attention to public health since 2017-2018 hepatitis A outbreak. The city spent roughly $2 million in the 2016 and 2017 budget years and about $4 million in the 2018 and 2019 budget years.
The funding increase will primarily cover the installation of new portable bathrooms around the city and increased security positions at libraries, parks, cemeteries and the City Administration Building. City officials and employees praised the vote as necessary, but acknowledged it as a Band-Aid over a larger problem of homelessness.
“If we can get these people housed and give them wraparound services and get them back on their feet, we will have so many less problems in our budget each year,” said City Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell.
New security contractors are expected to earn at least $16 per hour, the city’s minimum wage for contracted positions.