RC Mayor Seeks Money For Ambassador Program Downtown

May 6, 2019

Credit Charles Michael Ray / SDPB

Tuesday morning, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender will pitch an ambassador program for the downtown area.

Allender says the ambassadors could be pedestrian kiosks of information about what to do downtown. He says they will also keep an eye on any problems that arise in the area.

Mayor Allender says he sees an ambassador program for downtown as a compliment to a law enforcement presence. He says typically the request is for more police in the area.

He says the ambassadors would be marked with brightly colored vests, hand out pamphlets and be a friendly face for tourists walking around.

He says they’d also be the eyes and ears for any potential problems or circumstances that may cause alarm.

“This is not a panhandling eradication force,” Allender says. “It’s not anything of a heavy handed nature. It’s a very friendly approach to caretaking in the downtown core. Because, common to downtown business districts are foot traffic and panhandling and folks who have nowhere to go. It’s common everywhere there’s a downtown worth visiting.”

Allender is asking for $20-thousand from the downtown business improvement district for funding.

He says other organizations would chip in for funding as well and says it’s a low-cost program that provide for feeling of security downtown.

The ambassador program is an idea that’s come up in the past. If approved, Destination Rapid City will operate the program. Allender says he hopes to have the program up and running by first week in June.