Denver has stepped up public safety efforts by adding security guards to patrol the city's downtown.

The Denver Post reports (http://dpo.st/2b2AELX ) that the guards, who are employed by Allied Universal Security, will monitor Denver's 16th Street Mall 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They will be unarmed, but equipped with pepper spray and handcuffs to detain people until police arrive.

The guards are part of a larger plan, introduced this summer, to boost the city's security. City officials had called for enhanced security on the mall in July to address what Mayor Michael Hancock called a "scourge of hoodlums."

CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, Tami Door, says the guards' tasks will include spotting rule breakers, directing homeless people to social services and serving as ambassadors to visitors.

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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com