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New security pilot program keeps homeless away and business owners happy in Daytona Beach

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Beach Street business owners want to see a pilot security program become permanent in Daytona Beach. It’s been nearly 60 days since the city staffed the street with walking guards and merchants tell Eyewitness News their presence has paid off.

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When we first told you about this program in March when it began, customers were complaining about the area’s aggressive homeless population and business owners said they were constantly calling the police for issues at their shops.

Now, Dan Peterson from Daytona Magic said things are much different.

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“Literally in the last two weeks. We get more people out on a Saturday. More people walking on the street, stopping in the shops,” said Peterson.

The city is in the process of spending more than $100 million on redevelopment in the Beach Street corridor through both public and private partnerships. Business owners believe the visible security they have now, should remain a staple in that investment.

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“We’ve dealt with everything from people urinating on our doorway to people actually sleeping on our doorway,” said Harry Allen from Daytona Magic.

The pilot program was just under $25,000 for the 60 days and was paid for with Community Redevelopment Agency funds. It’s not clear when the topic will come back before the commission for a vote.

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