'A lot safer': New security measures coming to downtown Melbourne

Changes are coming to downtown Melbourne to help keep you and your family safe. 

Thursday marks the first day that security guards will patrol City Hall’s public parking garage late at night. The new security guards will be stationed at the parking garage entrance. While there, they’ll also do walkthroughs throughout the night in the stairwells.

People in the area are thrilled about this investment in their safety. "Downtown is where my heart is,"Scott Marathas said. He owns Meg O’Malley's Irish Pub and loves the vibrant community. 

Street parking fills up fast near his restaurant. City Hall is another option close by, but garage safety is sometimes a concern for employees at Meg O’Malley’s.

"It depends. Sometimes, I feel great. I feel like – yep, I can park here. I’m going to feel fine," Scout Guenter, who works at the Irish pub, said. "Other times, if I get off of work late, I usually have someone walk me." 

Guards will be stationed at the garage during peak hours of use. On Thursday, the garage will be watched from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. On Friday, security will be there from 8:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. On Saturday into Sunday, there will be guards stationed from 8:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.

"I think it’s good for people who feel a little uneasy about walking to their cars alone, especially, you know, maybe a female late at night," said T who visits downtown Melbourne frequently and loves the area.

The city is working to make downtown Melbourne more of a 24-hour destination. They’re hoping improvements like this will further that goal.

"I love that. I think that’s going to change perspectives," Guenter said. "I feel like everyone’s going to feel a lot more safer."

The city is also working to add new cameras to the City Hall parking garage with that work expected to be completed later this month.