Downtown Cincinnati Ambassadors
More than 30 Ambassadors, trained in public safety, enhanced cleanliness and customer service, patrol downtown Cincinnati seven days a week. Clad in bright orange shirts and blue jackets, Ambassadors serve as the eyes and ears of downtown.
The Ambassadors patrol the streets on foot, operate a sidewalk sweeper and provide guides, maps and friendly assistance to visitors. The Ambassador team supports the Central Business Section of the Cincinnati Police Department, a community policing program with an additional complement of officers dedicated to the central business district and housed at the Welcome Center at The Banks.
DCI’s Ambassadors, clad in bright orange shirts and blue jackets, provide services throughout the district from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. from Sunday to Wednesday and until midnight Thursday to Saturday.
The Ambassadors are happy to provide safety escorts to downtown destinations. To arrange an escort, call the Ambassador Hotline at (513) 623-3429. Call the Hotline if you have questions or concerns, or need directions or a map to a downtown destination. This free service is available to everyone.
During our patrols we:
All of which creates a friendly, welcoming environment for everyone.
- Look out for disorderly conduct
- Help Cincinnati Police reduce crime and panhandling
- Remove litter and graffiti
- Connect social services programs to those in need
- Provide maps, guides and helpful directions
See what "A Day in the Life" of an Ambassador is like through this short video.
Downtown Cincinnati Inc., along with our many partners including the Cincinnati Police, Hamilton County, Mayor's Office, and Strategies to End Homelessness has launched a program to address panhandling in the Central Business District. To panhandle is to stop people on the street and ask for money or food.
We are taking a proactive, three-pronged approach to reduce panhandling: outreach, enforcement, and education.
The Services and Programs Pocket Guide
lists more than 40 resources available to help panhandlers including food pantries, crisis hotlines, shelters, and health services. Downtown Ambassadors each have a supply of Pocket Guides. They are also available at the Visitor Center on Fountain Square.
DCI employs two full-time Social Services Outreach Coordinators
who connect people who are genuinely in need with services. Call Chico Lockhart
at (513) 266-7135
(weekdays) or Carlos Davis
at (513) 260-9888
(weekends and weeknights) to speak to them if you see someone in need.
Contact the Cincinnati Police
if you see aggressive panhandling or feel threatened at (513) 765-1212
Central Business Section of the Cincinnati Police Department
In 2002, the Cincinnati Police Chief and Mayor formed the Downtown Services Unit (DSU), now known as the Central Business Section (CBS) of the Cincinnati Police Department, to provide enhanced police service to Downtown and to expand the community policing effort. Based at the Police Welcome Center at The Banks, the CBS deploys officers on foot, bicycle, and segway. The CBS is commanded by a Captain and staffed with two Lieutenants, three Sergeants, and thirty-six Officers.
Their mission is to provide police services tailored to enhance the safety and security of Cincinnati’s downtown and riverfront by working in partnership with groups such as DCI, and various business, civic, and community groups. It provides a foundation for the City’s vision of improving the quality of life in downtown.
Put Your Junk in Your Trunk!
Items left in plain view are the top contributing factor in auto break-ins. The Cincinnati Police Department and Downtown Cincinnati Inc. urge you to follow the lead of our safety ambassadors and "put your junk in your trunk!" Get in the habit of securing your vehicle by leaving items at home or putting them in your trunk before you arrive at your destination.
You can reduce the chances of of a break-in with these simple steps:
- Always park in a well-lit spot at a meter, surface lot, or garage.
- Never leave anything visible inside your vehicle. Secure personal property such as stereo faceplates, radar detectors, loose change, gym bags/totes, sunglasses, cell phone charger, and electronics/cases in your trunk or take it with you.
- Always roll up your car windows and lock your doors.
- Report any unusual activity to the Cincinnati Police at (513) 765-1212
To further strengthen Downtown Cincinnati Inc.'s commitment to improving the downtown environment and to leverage the Ambassador program, DCI spearheaded the formation of four Downtown Sector Groups in 2002. Sector groups are made up of over 300 property owners, retailers, residents and other interested stakeholders in a particular geographical boundary of downtown. Regularly held meetings, led by sector leaders to identify and solve quality of life issues within the sector, are also attended by the District 1 Commander and the President and CEO of DCI. Here is a list of
2017 Sector Group Meetings
Virtual Block Watch
The Virtual Block Watch (VBW) program is a web-based, volunteer-driven, two-way communication tool that effectively utilizes email to relay important information about street closures, criminal activity and other topics relevant to downtown. Downtown Cincinnati Inc. and the Cincinnati Police Department introduced the VBW program in September 2003, which takes the Sector Group meetings to a new level.
Web-based VBW membership now allows DCI and CPD to communicate immediately with volunteers. The system passed its first test with flying colors when a thief was captured within hours after his image – caught on a security camera – was posted on the website. To date, more than 1,000 volunteers have joined the VBW program. Click here to sign up for VBW.