On the front lines in the streets of downtown Columbus, ambassadors play an important role to help those who live, work, and play in downtown Columbus keep safe. Keeping levelheaded while building a strong rapport goes a long way to address issues ambassadors encounter while patrolling.
As part of their continuing education, all SID ambassadors attended a two-hour workshop on Interpersonal Skills and De-escalation.
The new course created by Mark Proud, a former police officer, builds upon the Defense Tactics he teaches ambassadors. The training covered active listening, steering the conversation, presenting choices and consequences, body language as well as understanding their role and authority.
According to Ben Barker, operations manager for the Capital Crossroads and Discovery Special Improvement Districts, the training reinforced a lot of things ambassadors have learned on the job, like leading with respect and understanding what it means to be an ambassador.
“It is extremely important that our team learn and understand why it is so important to communicate with people, it helps them build a rapport with people they encounter on the streets every day,” Barker said. “It’s also important they understand their limits too.”
Barker said that a typical ambassador receives nearly 150 hours of training in their first year on the job. Training for new hires includes 40 hours of initial onsite training and another 40 hours of field training. Additional instruction includes first aid, CPR, safe driving, report writing, basic outreach, and much more.
To request assistance, just dial the SID’s hotline (614) 228-5718. Capital Crossroads ambassadors are available from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm Monday – Saturday and 9:30 am – 8 pm on Sunday. Discovery District ambassadors are available 5:30 am – 11:30 pm Monday-Saturday.