Efforts bring police and ambassadors downtown

More police officers will take to downtown Grand Junction streets this summer as part of changes in patrols in the business district.

Volunteer ambassadors also will be on hand to assist visitors under a new program.

Two Grand Junction police officers will be deployed downtown as part of a collaborative effort between the Grand Junction Police Department and Downtown Development Authority. The DDA board of directors voted to divert a portion of sales tax revenues to pay for two officers who’ll be dedicated to working downtown to increase the police presence and work with businesses and vendors to address vagrancy and other issues.

At the same time, a seasonal parks patrol unit will be increased from six to nine to not only provide a presence in city parks and along the Riverfront Trail, but also handle parking enforcement. The officers ride bicycles and wear bright yellow shirts during warm summer months. It’s expected three officers will work through the winter to handle parking enforcement.

A downtown ambassador program also is planned between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Volunteer ambassadors wearing brightly colored polo shirts will be available to welcome visitors and answer questions.

The program will be administered by the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Program with training by the police department as well as the Downtown Business Improvement District, Downtown Development Authority and Visitor & Convention Bureau. Volunteers will be rewarded for their efforts with gift cards donated by businesses.

A training session for volunteers is scheduled for May 23. Call Lorie Gregor at 254-3876 for more information about the program.