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04foster arend bcs

By Jeffrey Pieters

jpieters@postbulletin.com

A security force patrolling Foster-Arend pond in Rochester is doing good work so far, a park official told the Park Board on Tuesday.

The board unanimously approved a contract with the company, Twin City Security of Stewartville. The contract includes a regular payment rate of $15.98 per hour for security service.

Based on a full year, the cost will be about $19,000, said Dale McCamish, director of sports facilities for the Park and Recreation Department.

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The security officers, added in order to prevent another drowning death at Foster-Arend, where eight people have drowned in 23 years, are uniformed but unarmed.

They have training as security officers and site-specific training given to them by McCamish himself.

They started work with the opening of the pond on May 24. They’re scheduled to work through Sept. 1.

"So far, it has been working very well," McCamish said.

Up to now, the peak beach population has been 134 people at a single time. That’s bound to change soon.

"School gets out on Thursday," McCamish said. "That’s when it really starts to happen."

Besides security officers, park patrol officers will begin keeping tabs on Foster-Arend and the rest of the city park system starting Thursday.

The park patrol works from 6:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., Thursdays through Mondays.

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Their job at Foster-Arend will be to close the beach at 8 p.m., and close the park’s parking lot after the rest of the park has closed at 9 p.m.

Twin City Security was one of two firms vying for the pond patrol job. McCamish said both came with good recommendations from the Rochester Police Department and Olmsted County Sheriff’s Department, but that Twin City Security’s rate was $2.50 per hour cheaper.

The company has also provided security for the Rochester Public Library for the past eight years.

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