Beginning in May, the City of Grand Junction will be implementing some changes in Downtown Grand Junction that have been devised to make the experience there more enjoyable for all. The changes will be in the form of volunteer ambassadors, increased police visibility and changes in the approach to parking enforcement.
Following a successful trial last summer of a more consistent and visible police foot patrol presence downtown, the Grand Junction Police Department is pleased to be providing this service again this year with a more permanent emphasis. Beginning in May, thanks to a partnership with the Downtown Development Authority, the GJPD will dedicate two new positions, which will fall under the umbrella of the existing Community Resource Unit, to Downtown patrol.
These new positions, which were planned for during the 2017 budgeting process, will be on a one-year rotating schedule. It is hoped that this increased visible presence will be a deterrent to the vagrancy and other issues that have impacted this area in recent years. The Police Department also looks forward to building relationships with business owners and vendors to partner in keeping the Downtown area safe, clean, and a draw for residents and visitors to Grand Junction.
In addition to the downtown officers, the Police Department will be implementing some changes to the Parks Patrol Unit – the officers seen on bicycles wearing bright yellow shirts in the warm months. This seasonal unit, which has previously been comprised of a team of six, will be expanded to nine employees, all of whom will be cross trained in parking enforcement.
In addition to their primary role of providing a visible presence in City parks and along the Riverfront Trail, at any given time two of the on-duty Parks Patrol Officers will absorb parking enforcement responsibilities, which were previously handled by just one Police Service Technician. The hope is to retain three of these employees part time throughout the winter months to continue to handle parking enforcement issues year round.
Also slated to get underway later in May will be the Downtown Ambassador Program. This new volunteer program will run Memorial Day to Labor Day in Downtown Grand Junction. The program is administered by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department and will incorporate training from the Visitor and Convention Bureau, the Downtown Development Authority, the Downtown Business Improvement District, and the Police Department.
The mission of the Ambassador Program will be to enhance a welcoming environment in Downtown Grand Junction. Ambassadors will welcome visitors and answer questions about the Downtown area and inform the Police Department of safety concerns. Ambassadors will be identified by a brightly colored polo shirt and we hope to have them available Monday – Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Volunteers will be rewarded for hours worked with Downtown gift cards donated by businesses.
Efforts are currently underway to find a small office space where these programs will be able to have a home base. If you have an interest in volunteering to be a Downtown Ambassador, call Lorie Gregor at 970-254-3876 for more information. A training is scheduled May 23 to prepare volunteers to be Ambassadors.
Contact: Sam Rainguet, Communications Manager 970-244-1507 or firstname.lastname@example.org