Grand Forks has hired a private security firm to help keep ATVs and other small vehicles off the Greenway.
The city last week hired Pro Dog Security to station a private security guard every evening on the North Dakota side of each of the two pedestrian bridges at the park through Sunday, July 12.
The firm’s uniforms approximate those worn by police or other law enforcement officers, but its employees cannot legally write tickets or detain people.
They can, however, report people riding motorbikes, ATVs and so on to the Grand Forks Police Department. Pro Dog employees might also attempt to flag down people to explain that motorized vehicles are prohibited on the Greenway, Greendahl said.
The city has tried installing cameras, she said, but those didn’t produce sharp enough images to identify people who might be violating the city policy. And having real-deal police officers check in once in a while didn’t help because motorists would drive through shortly after the officers had left.
“They can’t be in one place at any given time,” Greendahl said.
The city’s contract, which had only been a verbal agreement until it was retroactively formalized on Friday, stipulates that Grand Forks will pay the company $27 per hour. Greendahl said the city is set to pay Pro Dog about $3,000 to watch the Greenway.
The city has received complaints about people driving recreational vehicles through the park and across the bridges near it. One emailer said they wouldn’t take their children through the woods near the river because they’d be worried about getting hit by an ATV or dirt bike.
“I know its tough to enforce,” another email reads. “But I hate to see things like this happening in such a nice area.”