Armed private security guards hitting State Street

CHICAGO (AP) - Armed security guards are starting to patrol a popular shopping area in downtown Chicago.

The two uniformed guards will be dispatched to State Street south of the Chicago River for several hours during the day and again in the late afternoon and evening in a visible effort to prevent retail theft and other crimes.

An organization of local businesses and groups called the Chicago Loop Alliance hired a security company to patrol an area of Chicago where police are often busy racing from call to call and may not be able to respond as quickly as local businesses would like.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says he isn't concerned about the guards and explains that it isn't unusual for places like malls and high rises to hire private security firms.

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