The Downtown Ambassadors® Program is comprised of 12 full-time paid Ambassadors who are trained to provide hospitality assistance, business referrals and member services to the DVBIA area. The Ambassadors patrol on foot 12 hours every day from 8am to 8pm.
For assistance, you may reach them by phone or text 604-689-4357.
Downtown Ambassadors have four roles
- liaising with DVBIA member businesses to promote their business
- providing referrals and assistance to those living on the streets
- acting as eyes and ears on the streets and
- providing tourism information to visitors
- During the summer months, the Downtown Ambassadors® interact with over 90,000 visitors and make over 25,000 business referrals within the DVBIA area.
- Each month Downtown Ambassadors® conduct 4,000-5,000 patrols of parkades looking for stolen autos, report crimes in progress or crimes that have occurred, help tourists or locals in need of assistance. Ambassadors recover numerous stolen autos each year.
- The Ambassadors assist the Vancouver Police Department by alerting the police to suspicious activity or crimes that have already occurred or that may occur and recovering stolen property.
- Downtown Ambassadors® check on the welfare of street involved people between 50-150 times per month. They direct homeless people to resources and shelters and provide snacks. They provide warm clothing in the winter and hydration during hot weather.
- Each month Ambassadors conduct about 4000 ‘Meet and Greets’ with downtown business owners and managers. This includes providing information packages about the DVBIA and Ambassadors to new businesses and doing ‘check-ins’ with all businesses on a regular basis.
- If you would like to invite the Ambassadors to get to know your business for future referrals email Dan Givi at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for an appointment.
The Ambassadors are equipped with the following:
- two-way radios
- data enabled iPad Minis
- cell phones
- first-aid kits
- visitor information including maps and brochures.
- cell phone battery chargers.
Management of the Program
The program is provided under contract with Securiguard, a private security firm. The DVBIA is responsible for program development, supervision of policy and procedures. Securiguard is responsible for hiring, basic security, training and managing personnel. Inquiries or applications for employment with the Ambassador program should be directed to Securiguard.
Ambassador training includes:
- A thorough orientation about the DVBIA, its role and goals.
- General instruction, role playing, videos and guest speakers.
- An outline of acceptable conduct, attitude, etiquette, rules and regulations.
- Awareness training that addresses community sensitivity and cultural diversity.
- First- aid and CPR
- Familiarity with equipment and its use.
- Detailed knowledge about downtown, its attractions and activities.
- Legal parameters of the role, including the management of incidents such as crimes in progress, violence, disorderly conduct or vandalism.
- World Host, Hospitality and customer-service skills.
- Knowledge of the Vancouver Police Department's Stolen Auto Recovery program (SAR)
- Conflict resolution and mediation.
- Incident reporting procedures and report writing.
- Human Rights training.
The Downtown Ambassador® Program is funded exclusively by the BIA members. The budget is approximately $685,000 or about 24% of the association's $2.9 million budget.
Vancouver Police Department Support
“We all have a role to play in keeping our communities safe and welcoming. The DVBIA's Downtown Ambassadors have been an important partner of the VPD's for years. The department relies on their dedicated service to be additional 'eyes and ears' on our streets to keep our community safe and to report crimes. We have been impressed with the Ambassadors' professionalism, compassion and enthusiastic interest in making our city more inviting for all who live here and visit.”
Former Chief Constable
Vancouver Police Department
If you have a complaint or concern about the Downtown Ambassadors®, there is a formal process to follow. You should receive a response within two business days.
The following information is required to assist in isolating the incident and dealing with it:
- Date and Time:
- Identity Number of the Ambassador (located on the right breast pocket area) or description:
- Description of the uniform including if the uniform said Downtown Ambassadors on the back (There are other groups that use a similar uniform)
- Company name on the shoulder flash
- Particulars of the incident
- Your contact information.
Comments and complaints can be also provided in writing to the DVBIA office, attention: Charles Gauthier.