Downtown Ambassadors help thwart crime

While Downtown Jacksonville boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the region, no urban area can escape occasional incidents. In addition to the efforts of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Downtown patrol, Downtown Jacksonville is fortunate to have extra eyes and ears on the street in the form of DVI’s Downtown Ambassadors.

Downtown Ambassador

On Dec. 27, what would normally be a quiet post-Christmas morning Downtown was interrupted by a robbery at the Jacksonville Bank, located on the corner of Forsyth and Laura streets. Standing just outside the bank doors when it occurred on their way to lunch, Ambassadors Lydia, Nancy and Derek noticed a man quickly leaving the bank. Shortly after, the bank manager came outside to inform the Ambassadors of the robbery.

Ambassador Nancy radioed the Ambassador Manager Bill Wimmer to call 911, while Ambassador Derek flagged down a passing officer to advise him of the situation. Meanwhile, Ambassador Lydia followed the perpetrator at a safe distance on her bike and was able to provide a detailed vehicle description to report the suspect’s location to Wimmer, who was on the phone with 911.

The 911 operator was able to hear the radio transmissions between the Ambassadors on the street, which aided the capture process. Due in large part to quick action and vigilant observations by Downtown Ambassadors, the suspect was apprehended by JSO less than 15 minutes after the initial 911 call.

While the Downtown Ambassadors are not law enforcement, this incident is yet another clear demonstration of their value as extra eyes and ears on the street. We’d like to send out a special thank you to everyone who assisted JSO with this quick capture.

For more information on the Downtown Ambassadors program, visit DVI’s Ambassadors webpage. Our Ambassadors team can be reached during their hours of operation at 904-465-7980.