The Skywalk may be mostly empty, but the doors are open from morning till night.
“Anyone can come,” says security guard Will Hunter. “This is a public space and we respect that.”
Hunter’s job at Per Mar Security is to keep public spaces peaceful.
It is not easy.
“We have shelter here, but there is a lot of mental illness in the homeless community,” he says.
Last week, two people repeatedly walked in front of the doors of the Hubbell Tower Apartments. The manager, Shay Lindbergh (her young child by her side) finally opened it up and asked if there was a problem. One of them grabbed her child. A struggle ensued…but Lindbergh was armed.
Des Moines Police Department Sergeant Paul Palizek said this is one example of legally owned guns working well.
“This certainly looks like a big turning point here. A key part of keeping her child safe was the fact that she was legally armed with a handgun. and said to them, ‘Let go of my child’.”
The man and woman left and Lindbergh called Will Hunter.
“It took Shay about three sentences to describe[about her]but I’m like, ‘That’s Laurie.’ She was around and hanging out,” Hunter says.
Security per March takes the names of everyone who causes trouble on the Skywalk.
Hunter called the police and named them, but tracked down the pair until the police took over.
“Having that guard in place at that moment was probably the most important part of this…because he was able to keep an eye on both of these people…when they were walking through the skywalk. Go down to the restaurant and get on the bus.”
Hunter said that between the march patrols, security cameras and regular communication with police, the skywalk is actually very safe and open to everyone, especially in the winter.
“Everyone is welcome to the Skywalk. As long as everyone follows the rules, it’s a public place so security shouldn’t be an issue.”
Security per March has been hired by the Skywalk Association in 2020. Shortly after, the couple was attacked by a group of his teens during a dinner date. Per Mar is in contact not only with the Des Moines Police Department, but also with the CISS Shelter, the Bethel Mission, and the Polk County Jail. WHO 13 attempted to reach out to Shay Lindberg for this article, but she did not respond to messages.
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