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CitySpeak

This week, Express reporter Erin Fawcett has asked Councillor Buck Buchanan questions regarding the new ambassador program for the City's downtown. "They are virtually a Walmart greeter in the City's downtown," said Buchanan.

This week, Express reporter Erin Fawcett has asked Councillor Buck Buchanan questions regarding the new ambassador program for the City's downtown.

"They are virtually a Walmart greeter in the City's downtown," said Buchanan. "It's people that have the ability to be in the downtown core and give directions and give assistance and help people out. Other cities have programs along these lines and that is what the intent was."

The new program stems from the SAFE Downtown committee.

The duties and responsibilities of an ambassador will be to visit all tourism sites and become familiar with activities and contacts, remain current with dates of various activities in the downtown, know locations of businesses and assist people with crossing roads and finding destinations, among others, said Buchanan.

The ambassadors will also serve as 'eyes on the street'.

"I think that we are maybe a little uncertain as to how this will play out," said Buchanan. "I think we talk about it being 'eyes on the street' and I'm not sure that we may be putting them possibly in harms way. It's not to deal with any enforcement situation but we don't want to place people in vulnerable situations."

He added he believes this program will be a learning experience.

"I think the jury's out as to what the outcome will be," said Buchanan.

"I think the thing we heard in terms of the downtown having issues whether that be enforcement issues, social issues or business issues and I think that this is to try and show the citizens of Red Deer that something proactive is taking place to try and be a positive," said Buchanan.

Ambassadors will wear a unique uniform so that they are easily recognizable as they make his or her way through the downtown.

The program will cost $50,000 and will include wages, transportation, uniforms, goods and supplies.