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|I Am Skooter|
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Vancouver’s had these red clad Downtown Ambassadors wandering around, seemingly aimlessly, for a few years now. I can’t remember when I first started noticing them, but it was about three years ago that they started becoming more common.
I could never figure out what they were and who they were for. I sort of thought they were a summer tourist season thing, and presumably volunteer or summer students. I always thought it seemed like a decent way to create some employment at low cost.
It turns out I was wrong, and they were intended to be actual security guards, working on behalf of the business. As with any number of private security guards, the look of most of these ambassadors didn’t really inspire…confidence. It also turns out that the NPA led city was funding these security guards: your tax dollars going to work to create a private police force on behalf of the businesses downtown. Not police, mind you. A private force, not accountable the way police are. (Whether police are properly accountable is another discussion.)
Not anymore. The city’s cut funding in what seems like a rational, sensible move.
Of course with six shootings in Vancouver in the last six days, I hope they invest in policing.