Louisville Downtown Partnership (LDP) announced today the expansion of the Ambassador Program in Downtown Louisville. Through collaboration and funding from Louisville Tourism, Humana Inc., and Louisville Metro Government, the program is doubling the number of ambassadors on the street from 18 to 36. As a result, the program will increase hours of operation, with staff on the street seven days a week, 7am – midnight.
“It is critical for the health of the entire community that Downtown upholds the highest standard for safety,” said Rebecca Fleischaker, executive director of LDP. “With only 4% of all crime reported in Louisville Metro occurring in Downtown, perception of safety is out of balance with reality, and the expanded ambassador program will help enhance the experience of Downtown visitors, workers, and residents.”
Combined, Louisville Tourism and Humana have committed to funding eight (8) additional hospitality ambassadors for two years, starting in March 2023, and Louisville Metro allocated $800,000 for a new Safety Ambassador team, made up of ten (10) ambassadors, in the FY24 budget. The Safety Ambassador team, which includes eight Safety Ambassadors and two Outreach Ambassadors, will increase the number of eyes, ears, and feet on Downtown streets and will allow ambassadors to be more assertive where necessary to dissuade public disturbances and negative street behavior.
“My administration is committed to reinvigorating our downtown, which is why we are investing millions of dollars to hire Safety Ambassadors, install new streetlights, establish a Downtown Revitalization Fund and more,” said Mayor Craig Greenberg. “Additionally, we are marketing several city-owned sites as opportunities for mixed use development that will move us closer to our goal of making downtown a safer and more vibrant 24-7 neighborhood.”
The expanded ambassador team will be fully operational this fall with a full staff of 36 ambassadors, doubling its usual complement. The larger team will include increased walking and vehicle patrols during more hours of the day to enhance hospitality services and improve real and perceived public safety in Downtown Louisville. All ambassadors in the program, provided by LDP’s contractor Block By Block, receive training in areas of observation, reporting, hospitality, public engagement, and de-escalation.
“Humana is pleased to support the Louisville Downtown Partnership and the expansion of the Ambassador Program, which is helping to provide a more safe and vibrant Downtown experience for businesses, residents and visitors,” said Douglas Edwards, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Associate & Business Solutions at Humana.
“Louisville Tourism is committed to working with Louisville Downtown Partnership, Metro Government and other partners to support a vigorous and healthy downtown,” said Cleo Battle, President & CEO Louisville Tourism. “We know the value of fostering positive perceptions of downtown to our community and visitors and are confident the expanded ambassador program will only continue to thrive with the additional resources and ongoing support.”
Formed in 1995, the Downtown Louisville Ambassador Program performs a number of duties in the Business Improvement District (BID) including supplemental cleaning initiatives, regular check-ins with businesses and property owners, and hospitality services which promote the area’s amenities and activities and provide wayfinding and information to Downtowners.
Ambassadors are also available as safety escorts to walk Downtown visitors, employees, and residents to their vehicle, bus stop, or next destination if they feel unsafe. To reach the Downtown Ambassador Team call (502) 664-8654.