Private security firms are being consulted on their availability to provide assistance around the time of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.
An official with Securitas Security Services, which no longer staffs an office in St. Joseph, said some of its preparations for the occurrence are still uncertain.
“At this time, we are working with our current clients to ensure their facilities and employees remain safe during the upcoming eclipse,” said Daniel Arnold, area vice president for the Securitas USA Great Plains office in Kansas City. “We do not have any current projects related directly to eclipse security coverage for any private or public entities.”
Bruce Schindler, maintenance supervisor for NPG Newspapers, said a contract has been signed with Securitas for the eclipse. He said the business’s parking lots will be secured starting Friday, Aug. 18, and extending through the 21st — with security staffing from 6 a.m. to midnight each day.
Schindler said the Securitas officers will be in uniform, but will not be armed.
Praetorian Guard Services, located near St. Louis, said it has not received any requests to provide security in the St. Joseph area during the eclipse period.
Shawn Henderson, an emergency manager at Mosaic Life Care, said the potential exists for outbound transfers of patients over the period.
“It’s just a matter of networking,” Henderson said of eclipse preparations being coordinated with other agencies. “A lot of it’s prestaged.”
The size of the crowd expected to descend on St. Joseph is unknown, he said, but could best be estimated in terms of the extent of fans who came to Kansas City two years ago for the World Series.
One staging area will be established at Civic Arena, according to Henderson, with other mobile assets deployed at Rosecrans Memorial Airport.
Commander Eric Protzman of the St. Joseph Police Department said civic planning to address security concerns related to the eclipse are still being formulated. He expects specifics to be announced closer to the date.