Sunday, January 9, 2011 - By Sid Burgess - No comments

Vancouver Downtown Ambassadors are on fire!

Lost your way on the streets of Vancouver?  Need assistance crossing the road with your handicapped grandfather?  Not sure where to find the nearest public restroom?  Never fear -- just look for the guys (and gals) in the bright red shirts.  They’re the Vancouver Downtown Ambassadors, and they’re here to help you.  

Equipped with cell phones, first aid kits, digital cameras, maps, and more, the Ambassadors bike and hike the streets of Vancouver on a daily basis, ready to aid persons in distress and to address “quality of life” issues like litter and panhandling.  They are also charged with monitoring and deterring criminal activity on public property, from graffiti to illegal parking.  The Ambassadors even partner with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia by carrying handheld Casio computers, which track stolen vehicles, and in this way have recovered 5 - 10 stolen autos each month!

In 2008 the Downtown Ambassador Program was honored with the "National Meetings Industry Award", presented by the British Columbia chapter of the Meeting Professionals International, in recognition for being such effective “eyes and ears” on the streets of Vancouver.  The Ambassador Program is funded by the thousands of business and property owners in the downtown area.  Ambassadors have played a key role in reducing drug dealing and other criminal activity in Vancouver’s downtown.

If these red-clad civil servants weren’t awesome enough already, they recently flooded SeeClickFix with a storm of reports -- mostly related to graffiti -- which drew our attention to their awesomeness.  Their account is only a few weeks old, and already they’ve reported nearly 150 issues!  Looks like the Ambassadors are adding SeeClickFix to their arsenal of do-good weapons.  It’s a perfect match -- since these folks are always on the go, it makes sense for them to use SeeClickFix for quick, efficient civic reporting.

This is also a great example of how SeeClickFix can be a powerful tool for community groups (not just individuals).  Neighborhood associations, formal programs like the Ambassadors, and other groups have a ready-made platform to aid in mass reporting or to monitor a particular area.  We make sure those reports end up in the right place, so civic groups can invest their time and energy where it counts.  We’re honored to be part of what the Downtown Ambassadors are doing for the streets and citizens of Vancouver, and look forward to hearing from them often.

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