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Safe, Clean & Friendly

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 green shirts, 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 green shirts, provide services throughout the district from
6 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Thursday; Friday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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, need directions or a map to a downtown destination. This free service is available to everyone. No gratuities accepted

During our patrols we:

  • 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
All of which creates a friendly, welcoming environment for everyone.

See what "A Day in the Life" of an Ambassador is like through this short video.

  Like the DCI Ambassadors on Facebook! 

GeneroCity 513 

Donation Station-12th and VineDowntown 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.

Re-purposed parking meters, referred to as “Donation Stations,” are available to collect money that will be used to help those in need.  

Donation Stations can accept contributions in the form of coin or credit card. 

Five Donation Stations have been installed at various locations throughout downtown and Over-the-Rhine. See a map of locations.

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 and Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services employ three full-time Social Services Outreach Coordinators who connect people who are genuinely in need with services. Call the Outreach Hotline at (513) 498-6192 to speak to them if you see someone in need, or send an email to 

Contact the Cincinnati Police if you see aggressive panhandling or feel threatened at (513) 765-1212 or 911.

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 

Sector Groups

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's a list of  2019 Sector Group Meetings.

Virtual Block Watch 

The Virtual Block Watch (VBW) program is a web-based, volunteer-driven, two-way communication tool that effectively uses 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.


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