ST. THOMAS, ONT. -- A St. Thomas bank is taking steps to protect its staff and customers, by locking its main entrance and hiring a security guard.

The CIBC branch on Talbot Street has locked its front doors and is forcing customers to park in the south parking lot, or walk through the adjacent park, and enter through the back.

A sign on door reads, "Due to recent events, and for heightened security we will be operating with only one entrance during business hours."

Customers like Jim McGowan from Shedden, Ont. aren't happy with the change. "You can go out front door, but can't come in," says McGowan.

"They are making banking difficult for people with CIBC. The bank down the street, has their front door is open and it's making me want to go to another bank."

McGowan asked for an explanation and he was told it is because they can only staff security at one entrance.

The security was taking a break outside and was approached by CTV News.

He says his job is to screen the customers, and to make sure they are entering to do banking.

They are not the only business in town to beef up security.

"Telus is in the middle of a trade area, and they've done it," says Joe Preston, St. Thomas' mayor.

"CIBC has done this with other branches, and closed other branches but we don't want them to do that here. The ATM is open, but if you need to go in there is a security guard."

St. Thomas police are also doing their part to ensure the safety, and comfort of residents.

"The past couple years, homelessness, poverty, mental health and addictions are a big issue in St. Thomas," says Chris Herridge, St. Thomas police chief.

Herridge stresses there is not a major high-end crime problem in the city's core, and they are working with the city of St. Thomas, homeless shelters to help improve the downtown.

"We've increased out beat patrol and we are also looking at closed circuit television in the downtown," added Herridge. "We do keep a presence in the downtown by having officers on the beat and we are trying to ensure that sense of security in our downtown."

CIBC provided a written statement to CTV News.

“The safety and security of our clients and team is a top priority, and we occasionally implement additional security measures to support that priority,” says Tom Wallis, CIBC Communications & Public Affairs.