Some businesses in San Francisco are now hiring off-duty police officers for safety and security.
The program is not new, but the increase in demand is.
For some, the extra layer of armed security is a comfort and crime deterrent.
Businesses are paying off-duty officers at least $100 an hour through San Francisco Police Department's 10-B program.
"It enhances the on-duty presence at any given time there can be 15-100 extra police officers that are most qualified, most equipped and able to communicate on our radios," SFPD Officer Robert Rueca said.
Program 10-B has been around since the 1970s and allows people to hire out officers. But demand has spiked in recent years.
From 2016 to 2017, officers worked 114,000 off-duty overtime hours and just over 200,000 hours last year, according to the SFPD.
Karin Flood, executive director for Union Square Business Improvement District, said they hire one 10-B police officer 10 hours a day, seven days a week and are looking to expand that later this year to a second officer.
The Union Square Business Improvement District is not alone. Flood said several nearby retailers are also hiring their own uniformed officers to prevent theft and crime.
"They have a gun and a badge, so you know, they're a force to be reckoned with," Flood said.
The 10-B officers have traditionally been used for special events. In addition to providing security for retail stores, police said some companies now want a police officer on hand in case of an active shooter.