Downtown Santa Monica's hospitality ambassadors will soon be fixtures at Reed Park, but they'll be anything but fixed.
Ambassadors, known for their pleasant demeanor and teal shirts and fedoras, will be roaming the park on Lincoln Boulevard near St. Monica's Catholic Church on a daily basis starting in August, helping keep restrooms and other areas clean and welcoming for all.
The City of Santa Monica is contracting with Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. to station at least two ambassadors at Reed, much like what occurs in Palisades and Tongva parks, where ambassadors have been stationed for the past two years.
While the ambassadors are not a substitute for police, the hope is they will make an impact on the perceived lack of safety that has plagued the park for several years and generated complaints from residents living nearby who say anti-social behavior makes the area unsafe for their children to play.
(Downtown Santa Monica ambassadors monitor restrooms at Tongva Park. They'll be performing the same duty at Reed Park starting in August, 2019)
Some have called on the City to maintain a permanent police presence at the park, however, that was deemed to be too costly and was considered not to be the best use of resources.
The six-month pilot program at Reed Park will cost the City $247,968. The program will launch on Aug. 1 and run through Jan. 31, 2020 before being re-evaluated by the City and DTSM.
One ambassador will be stationed at the park's restrooms during all hours of public operation, while another one or two ambassadors will roam the park grounds. Ambassadors will also operate a games and equipment rental program where people can check-out Frisbees, balls, blankets and other items.
Ambassadors will have a presence at the park from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For assistance call 310.877.7731.