ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - More feet on the street, the Anchorage Downtown Partnership is piloting a new patrol service with safety ambassadors.
Together, Joey Tavai and Joshua Aliki hit the streets on foot and by truck five nights a week. The duo is in charge of monitoring a 120 square block area making up the Downtown Development District.
"The primary goal is dealing with the trespassing. It’s a limited amount of people in the overnight shift so their focus is very narrow but as safety ambassadors as they see problems they deal with everything as it comes," Paul Rochford, Operations Director for the Anchorage Downtown Partnership said.
The night crew is in a pilot phase until March 1. "I wanted to get short-term and long-term feedback on what was happening and if the program was making a difference," Rochford said.
Channel 2 News joined the team in the middle of their shift, which runs from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. During our time, the ambassadors asked several people to leave from corners of the sunshine mall, encountered a person skate boarding inside a parking garage of a private building on K Street, and had to clear a handful of people from bedding down inside the main floor of the Fifth Avenue parking garage.
Rochford said the organization has seen a difference in the size of crowds ambassadors are running into during the night.
“Over the past few weeks it's continued to where a lot of the problems we don't see in mass anymore. It's much smaller. Instead of crowds of 20-30 people we're dealing with crowds of 4,5,6 people."