Chicago 'ambassador' program expanded for the summer

Chicago downtown Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — As the city works to entice more people to come downtown, the Chicago Loop Alliance is expanding its Ambassador Program.

The ambassadors wear yellow shirts and carry radios and are trained in de-escalation techniques. Now, Loop Alliance President and CEO Michael Edwards says, their number will increase to 41 from 16.

Through September, the new workers will be seen from Dearborn to Canal and Ida B. Wells to Wacker from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays. The unarmed ambassadors are there to answer questions, report issues to police and help the homeless.

The extra staffing comes courtesy of a federal grant of $550,000.

The core program, focusing on State Street, will continue.

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