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Denver hires security force to help patrol 16th Street Mall

DENVER -- The city of Denver has hired a private security firm to help patrol the 16th Street Mall and keep it more safe for visitors after numerous incidents of violence.

Thursday will be the first full day for the new security patrols. The guards will be deployed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The new uniformed security presence will be there to help support police, not enforce laws.

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Security personnel will not be armed, but they will be armed with pepper spray and handcuffs. They will be trained to spot people who need mental health or other services.

The security personnel will be in uniform, wearing blue shirts. The number of security officers and patrols working the mall is not being released.

It's the city's attempt to keep the mall safe after a spike in violent attacks there this summer.

The Downtown Denver Partnership is spending $1 million  on the new security force.

Denver police Chief Robert White said he doesn't want to see anymore of the violence, some of which has been captured on video.