A program that aims to improve public safety in downtown Salt Lake City without increasing law enforcement has been expanded into the North Temple area.
The representatives of the Downtown Ambassador Program aren’t police officers. Instead, the “ambassadors” provide a “friendly, uniformed presence” in Salt Lake City and are available to assist residents, business and visitors, according to the Downtown Alliance’s website. They also help people experiencing homelessness get access to shelter and other services.
And they’ve now extended their reach to the North Temple neighborhood, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced Tuesday.
“In investing time and resources in the area, I want North Temple’s business owners and residents to know that we hear you — we hear your calls for increased public safety, for economic investment, and for the resources necessary for this neighborhood to thrive through the years,” Mendenhall said in a news release.
The program, which is managed by the Downtown Alliance with support from Salt Lake City, started in 2018. Six ambassadors began their work along North Temple on April 1. They’re available daily except Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“The street ambassadors have done a fantastic job in the downtown central business district and we are confident that this extension of the street ambassadors services will help people in crisis get the services and shelter they need, support local businesses in the North Temple neighborhood and make the area safer for all residents and visitors,” said Dee Brewer, executive director of the Downtown Alliance.
According to the release, in 2020, ambassadors performed 6,591 wellness checks on people in the downtown area, referred 1,448 people to shelter and services, responded 2,859 times to merchants who needed assistance, and administered 184 doses of naloxone to prevent an overdose.
Businesses in the program’s service area can request assistance from the ambassadors by calling 801-541-0434.