New 24-hour weekend security has been added at a stretch of Buffalo Bayou Park in hopes that it will help bring more people to the park.
An off-duty police officer will patrol the north side of the park from Sabine Street to Montrose on the weekends 24 hours each day. Each weeknight a hired guard will provide security from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Downtown parks, of which Buffalo Bayou is part of, recently ranked number one in a Local 2 investigation highlighting parks with the most crime.
The new security comes as the Buffalo Bayou Partnership is making a $58 million park upgrade, paid for almost entirely by private dollars. The security will be funded using public money.
"When it's all said and done, this park is going to be the best maintained and safety park in Houston," Buffalo Bayou Partnership President Anne Olson.
She says that will only increase when construction is finished on two new visitors centers. New lighting has also been installed in parts of the park.
"We're seeing so many more people utilizing the park and that's again one way the park will become safer because in essence there is going to be eyes on the street," she said.
Security is currently provided on the north part of the park between Sabine and Montrose, but in mid-July the security is expected to be expanded to the south side of the bayou along the same stretch.