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Ambassadors keep downtown Fort Worth safe, appealing

Posted Nov. 15, 2017

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group meet with Mayor Price in front of Municipal Courts
Mayor Betsy Price introduces the Downtown Ambassadors, who will be seen in their green truck, on foot, on bikes or Segways as they assist residents and visitors. (Photo by Glen Ellman)

Wondering how to get to the Fort Worth Water Gardens? Want a recommendation for a good barbecue place downtown? Or simply need to report an overflowing trash bin?

Downtown Fort Worth now has a crew of helpers, all decked out in neon green shirts, who can help with all that and more.

Downtown Fort Worth Inc. (DFWI) has added Downtown Ambassadors to the services provided by the Downtown Public Improvement District (PID). The Ambassadors will be circulating throughout downtown in their vibrant green pickup, on foot, on bicycles and on Segways to help visitors, create a friendly and welcoming environment, and add extra eyes and ears on the street.

To fund the program, the City Council in September approved a downtown PID assessment rate increase from 10 cents per $100 of value on taxable downtown properties to 12.5 cents. DFWI manages the PID and has been working with downtown property owners for nearly a year to develop this new program.

DFWI conducted a national search for service providers and selected Block by Block to manage the program. Block By Block manages services for 94 districts across the county, including Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Uptown Dallas.

“This is a value-added service. Downtown has new office space coming online, new residential developments and hotels being added at a record pace and more conventioneers than ever before. We have more people in downtown needing assistance,” said DFWI Chair Rick Baumeister. “The Ambassadors will do everything from help with a package and give restaurant recommendations to changing a tire and helping get appropriate social services to those in need.”

The crew will be on duty downtown from 7 a.m.-midnight, seven days a week. Contact the on-duty supervisor at 817-484-3723.

Jed Wagenknecht, PID advisory committee chair, said the Ambassadors will also serve as an “observe, report and deter team.”

“The Ambassadors will provide additional sets of eyes and ears on the street. They will help the police and sheriff’s departments and private security teams by reporting suspicious behavior, and they will help discourage bad behavior by their presence,” Wagenknecht said.

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