The Downtown Spokane Ambassador Team has enhanced its mobility in the downtown core with the launch of a bike patrol program. Ambassadors are now taking to the streets as part of their daily rounds utilizing trained riders on e-bikes.
“This program will greatly increase our team’s ability to respond to calls,” said Mark Gelhaus, Clean & Safe Operations Director for the Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP). “With better speed and maneuverability, we can improve the efficiency and visibility with which we cover and serve the downtown community.”
Earlier this spring, team members completed a 22-hour certification course in cooperation with the Spokane Police Department as part of the program’s launch. During the course, Ambassadors learned advanced maneuvering techniques and best practices for making contact with individuals when arriving via bike.
The DSP had a previous iteration of a bike patrol, but that program fell dormant in the early 2010s. As Spokane reemerges from the pandemic and foot traffic downtown continues to increase, Gelhaus says he saw this as an opportunity to breathe new life into the program and provide added value to the businesses, residents and visitors his team passionately serves.
In addition to foot patrols, the Ambassador team makes daily rounds in the downtown core in a pickup truck. With gas prices soaring, the bike program lends itself to increased savings in the team’s operational budget by reducing the frequency on which the truck was previously relied to respond to far away calls. The e-bikes the team rides are stored and charged at the DSP’s headquarters on Post and Riverside.
“We’re very lucky to have this opportunity to do patrols in a more dynamic and effective way,” says Alex Gray, one of DSP’s Ambassadors participating in the new bike program. Currently, the Business Improvement District (BID)—the geographic area the Ambassadors serve, managed by the DSP—totals over 80 square blocks in the city’s core.
BID Ambassadors are on duty downtown from 8am to 6pm, seven days a week. Bike patrols, which began at the start of May, take place on a daily basis, with usage increased during peak hours when calls to the team are most frequent.
Who to call:
- For non-emergency issues within the Business Improvement District, such as disruptive individuals in or around a business’s location, call our Ambassadors at 509.353.9111 for assistance.
- To file reports for non-emergency crimes that have already happened, and do not require an officer/deputy at the scene, call Crime Check at 509.456.2233.
- For emergencies, dial 911.