Downtown Raleigh Alliance takes immense pride in curating a welcoming and enjoyable experience for all our visitors in Downtown Raleigh, a vibrant hub of culture, commerce, and community in the heart of North Carolina's capital city. To maintain and improve our sense of safety in downtown, we have made several changes to our Ambassador program to enhance the visitor experience, making it even safer, more enjoyable, and aligned with our city's growth. Not only have we aimed to be responsive to the immediate needs of our community, we’ve taken it a step further to ensure new solutions position our community well for the future.
DRA’s Ambassador Program has undergone major upgrades in recent weeks. The most substantial change has been transitioning to a new ambassador management vendor: Block By Block. They are a nationally renowned company in the field, known for its use of technology and analytics for where to position resources. Their SMART System (Statistics Management and Ambassador Reporting Technology) will provide us with valuable insights and tools to manage and enhance our ambassador program effectively, and there are even more changes you’ll see on the streets:
Updated Hours: we have strategically targeted the operating hours of the Ambassador Program to maximize effectiveness. Now, you can expect to see our friendly ambassadors on the streets for even longer periods during the busiest times, providing assistance and guidance when needed. The new hours are as follows:
Monday-Thursday, 6:00 AM-11:00 PM
Friday, 6:00 AM-3:00 AM
Saturday, 10:00 AM-3:00 AM
Sunday, 11:00 AM-10:00 PM
Route Changes: We have optimized our ambassador routes to better align with the evolving dynamics of Downtown Raleigh. These changes will help us reach more areas and offer support where it is most needed by focusing patrols on areas where we have the most persistent issues and we will continue adjusting routes based on changing conditions.
Additional Training: Safety is paramount in Downtown Raleigh, and our ambassadors are now equipped with advanced de-escalation training. This training empowers them to handle challenging situations with professionalism and empathy, ensuring the safety and comfort of all visitors.
New Vehicles: We have introduced new electric vehicles and bicycles for our ambassadors, too. These vehicles enable them to cover a larger area efficiently, ensuring that they can respond to any situation promptly. Catch our ambassadors on branded e-bikes, Segways, and in this GEM e4 Electric Car.
New Uniforms: Our ambassadors are easily recognizable in their light-reflective uniforms. As part of our enhancements, we have updated the uniforms, incorporating a fresh, modern design that mirrors the spirit of Downtown Raleigh and makes them easier to identify.
To request assistance from an Ambassador, please call the hotline at 919-368-7962.
In addition to enhancing our Ambassador program, DRA has been advocating for additional resources to maintain safety in downtown.
Security Camera Improvements: We have been working with the City of Raleigh and downtown property owners on strengthening the security camera network in downtown. Filling in gaps in the network will aid key areas with consistent support and make access to cameras easier for law enforcement when necessary. An improved camera network can help with catching criminal activity faster as well as monitoring hot spot areas.
Security Patrols: DRA also has been working with the City of Raleigh and GoRaleigh to add security patrols in the area in and around the GoRaleigh Transit Center to improve the safety of both this area and the transit system as a whole.
Public realm maintenance: DRA has advocated for improved public realm maintenance to enhance the look and feel of downtown. This includes advocacy for better lighting, cleaning, removal of rollaway trash carts on sidewalks, tree trimming and weed removal, LED lighting in parking decks, and other enhancements. Significant progress has been made with more needed to continue making downtown look and feel as good as possible.
These changes represent the culmination of extensive research and data integration into our practices. As Downtown Raleigh continues to grow, we remain steadfast in our commitment to being excellent partners to the city, local businesses, and all stakeholders who contribute to making downtown the incredible place it is today.
In the face of any and all concerns raised by our community, Downtown Raleigh Alliance remains hopeful and determined, as always, in keeping with our mission of advancing the vitality of Downtown Raleigh for everyone.