The Downtown Santa Monica Ambassador Program is being expanded Thursday to include safety-related services in addition to the hospitality, custodial and homeless outreach efforts already in place.
Specially trained "Safety Ambassadors" will be on patrol throughout downtown Santa Monica on bike, Segway, foot and in vehicles, acting as a deterrent to unwanted behavior and activity, and responding to incidents called in by businesses and patrons, in addition to providing information, assistance and directions to downtown workers, residents and visitors.
According to Downtown Santa Monica Inc., the Safety Ambassadors will respond to quality-of-life offenses and will relay urgent public safety information to DTSM command center dispatchers who will triage and place emergency or non-emergency calls to the Santa Monica Police and Fire departments as appropriate.
In the event of an active emergency, Safety Ambassadors will remain on site until emergency responders arrive, according to DTSM.
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"The health and well-being of our community continues to be of paramount importance," said DTSM Inc. CEO Kathleen Rawson. "It is Downtown Santa Monica's highest priority to provide a clean, safe and welcoming public environment for our residents, businesses and visitors. Based on feedback from our community, we are expanding our ambassador deployment to further focus on and enhance public safety in the district."
All Safety Ambassadors will be identifiable by unique uniforms and possess a valid "Guard Card" issued by the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Service -- a certification that requires a minimum of 40 hours of state-mandated training and 16 hours per year of continual professional training, according to DTSM officials. Safety Ambassadors will be first-aid and CPR certified within the first 30 days of their employment.
With the addition of Safety Ambassadors, DTSM will expand its Downtown Safety Escort Service. Employees and patrons can call or text the DTSM Ambassador Dispatch Center at 310-877-7731 to request an escort to their vehicle or other desired destination within the downtown area.
For more information on the Ambassador Program and scope of services, click here.