Breckenridge to place security on Main Street during spring break to enforce public health orders
Breckenridge will be placing security personnel on Main Street during the spring break period in March to enforce public health orders and town ordinances, including mask-wearing in the town’s mandatory mask zone.
The Breckenridge Town Council discussed ways to support front-line workers during the busy spring break period at a work session Tuesday, Feb. 23, and decided to employ one to two security personnel from the Breckenridge Municipal Court to patrol the downtown area each day.
Town Manager Rick Holman explained to council that at the last town resiliency task-force meeting, it was brought up that businesses are struggling with pushback from customers regarding COVID-19 restrictions.
“There’s a fear that some of the prevalent attitude that we’re seeing and some of the problems that are being given to front-line workers and the different things that are occurring is only going to be worse during those peak two-week periods of mid-March,” Holman said. “The colleges that are having more of a traditional spring break, those people come here, then we’re going to see that be even more prevalent.”
Holman said some of the colleges that are scheduled to have more traditional spring breaks are from southern states, where there are fewer COVID-19 restrictions than in Colorado, which he said could cause problems for front-line workers during this time period. Bringing back the summertime mask ambassadors was suggested as a solution, but Holman said he did not feel the ambassadors were successful and said people patrolling Main Street would need a higher level of training and authority to be effective.
“Oftentimes, when you’re encountering somebody who doesn’t have a mask on, it turns into a confrontation, and it takes a certain skill set to balance through that, or it takes some level of authority,” Holman said.
Since March is one of the town police department’s busiest times, Holman said Breckenridge should hire private security for the downtown area and suggested security guards from the town’s municipal court. He said it would cost the town $300 per day per person and that the guards could be stationed downtown from around noon to 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. for 14-16 days in March. He noted that since the court is having staffing issues, he doesn’t anticipate that the town could employ more than one or two security guards per day on Main Street.
“In the end, it’s just to reinforce the COVID rules that we have,” Mayor Eric Mamula said. “… It’s a combination of places that don’t believe, don’t have the same rules. And then as we start to see an end to where we are in COVID right now, people are starting to drop their guard, and it will become more difficult through the month of March for our front-line workers to deal with this. I think this is a good use of town funds.”
Holman said the security would cost $6,000 to $10,000. In addition, he suggested that the town put four port-a-potties in town in March because there is less access to public restrooms in town amid the pandemic. The portable restrooms would cost $2,600 for the month. Two would be placed behind the Breckenridge Tourism Office Welcome Center and two would be placed in the parking area behind Whiskey Star Smokehouse.
“I think the front-line workers are probably going to be at their wits end by the time this season is over, and if we can give them a little bit of relief and add some compliance to this, I’m all for it,” council member Jeffrey Bergeron said.
In addition to the security, council member Erin Gigliello said she hopes lodging companies are communicating with guests about what the public health requirements are in town. Council member Carol Saade said the town should use social media to reinforce COVID-19 rules in March.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.