POSTED: MAR 01 2018 04:16PM CST

VIDEO POSTED: MAR 01 2018 04:21PM CST

UPDATED: MAR 01 2018 06:27PM CST

CHICAGO (AP) - Armed security guards are starting to patrol a popular shopping area in downtown Chicago.

The two uniformed guards will be dispatched to State Street south of the Chicago River for several hours during the day and again in the late afternoon and evening in a visible effort to prevent retail theft and other crimes.

An organization of local businesses and groups called the Chicago Loop Alliance hired a security company to patrol an area of Chicago where police are often busy racing from call to call and may not be able to respond as quickly as local businesses would like.