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Chicago Street ambassadors return to downtown this summer to help visitors and deter crime

DOWNTOWN β€” The Chicago Loop Alliance is expanding its street ambassador program for the summer and early fall, the group announced Wednesday.

Loop Alliance Street Ambassadors primarily patrol State Street in the Central Loop area from Dearborn Street to Canal Street and Ida B. Wells Drive to Wacker Drive.

The number of street ambassadors will double from 20 to 40 with funds from the Chicago Take Back Plan. The program expanded last summer through the same efforts.

The 20 additional ambassadors will patrol the corridor in the afternoon and evening five days a week from June 5 to October 1. 7, while year-round ambassadors will continue to patrol daily.

Street Ambassadors are also used in 11 other community areas, including Back of the Yards, Greater Chatham, and the Magnificent Mile. This year’s city effort will include new partnerships in Austin, the Chicago Lawn, Chinatown, Englewood and Rogers Park.

Credit: Melody Market
Jerry Zollicoffer, operations manager for the Chicago Loop Alliance Streetplus team, stands guard at the Nordstrom Rack along State Street in the Loop.

β€œThe Corridor Ambassador program is a successful example of community-based preventative safety efforts,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a news release. “The Chicago Loop Alliance initiative served as a model for expanding the Corridor Ambassador program to other communities on Chicago’s South and West Sides, and we are pleased to support the program again this summer.”

Street ambassadors greet people and offer help to tourists while providing assistance and resources to the homeless.

Street ambassadors wear yellow and black uniforms. They are unarmed and have been professionally trained on how to de-escalate situations.

The Chicago Loop Alliance Ambassador Program was launched in 2014 and is contracted through Streetplus. Loop Alliance has used private security since 2018 to patrol the same commercial corridors at night. Private security guards are not armed but have the ability to detain people if necessary.

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