Philadelphia cheesesteak shop hires armed agents to protect customers outside

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Customers are thrilled the original Jim’s West Steaks & Hoagies in West Philadelphia is back in business, and they formed a line around the building.

“I’m so excited,” said Nitah Dunham from West Philadelphia. “The food has always been good.”


“Our lines are down the block, so while you’re standing here in line, connecting with other people you may not know, we have security right here just to keep you guys safe,” said Saul Landers, the CFO of Jim’s West.

The owners hope the presence of armed agents prevents crimes.

“It’s not just myself,” said Kevon Darden, who owns Presidential Protection Services. “It’s usually other agents who are sworn and certified by the state of Pennsylvania to do security work when they’re off duty. All of us are former military, police, and law enforcement background.”


Other business owners hired armed guards too, including the Karco Gas Station in North Philadelphia.

“If you want to secure your business and you want to make sure everyone is safe, you have to spend that extra money,” said Landers.

Some customers say they support the enhanced security.

“Safety and good food is always a plus,” said Dunham.


“Now North Philly, where that gas station is, where the guy is out there with a machine gun, I can understand that,” said King. “Here, it’s a little overkill. Even if you have an armed guard, okay. But, walking around with a machine gun, it’s not family-friendly.”

“I’m here to protect you,” said Darden. “I’m not here to cause any trouble or be that guy with a rifle.”