Ambassador Program FAQ

125th Street Business Improvement District - Ambassador Program Factsheet

What is the 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID)?

125th Street BID, a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation, was established in September 1993 to stimulate economic life in the 125th Street area of Harlem by developing commercial and service establishments, to spur private investment, and to improve the strip’s physical appearance and quality of life. Organized in compliance with state and city laws, the BID allows property and business owners in the defined areas to adopt a budget for specific services they desire, and to levy a special assessment to cover the cost of those services. 125th Street provides various services from funds of 100 properties and numerous businesses encompassing the primary shopping, business and residential corridors of 125th Street. 

The 125th Street BID is an Equal Opportunity Employer

What are the five primary roles of the Ambassador/Public Safety Officers?

Working closely with NYPD, the ambassadors will:
1. Provide visible foot patrol from West of Fifth Avenue through East of Morningside Avenue,
bordering the North and South side of 125thstreet and the side streets where property
fronts 125th Street.

2. Report and call for help to assist the sick, injured or lost persons until Police and/or
emergency medical technicians arrive via supplied radios.

3. Provide travel directions and information regarding the many entertainment, restaurant
retail, historical sites, ATM services and any other venues and tourism services requested

4. Inspection of the BID corridor while on foot patrol to identify safety hazards, health hazards,
environmental hazards, excessive garbage, illegal disposal of garbage, broken lights and traffic
light signals, flooding, abnormal traffic conditions or any other street conditions that require attention.

5. Perform their duties as true ambassadors of the 125th Street Business Improvement District,
displaying professionalism, courtesy and respect. This also includes distributing BID literature, maps
and other informational pamphlets which are helpful to tourists, merchants and many others who traverse
this historical street.

Will this program affect 311?
The Ambassador Program works in conjunction with local NYPD precincts (in the 25th, 26th and 28th Street precincts), the Transit Police District 3 and the District Attorneys’ Office providing information regarding any illegal/criminal activity observed while serving their post.
How will illegal/criminal activity be reported or documented? 

Such information will be in the form of an incident report submitted to the Supervisor and the Director of Operations. In all emergency situations, the Ambassadors will utilize their radios to request assistance and provide information concerning the event. Ambassador personnel will remain cognizant at ALL times that they are NOT law enforcement but highly visible and a reliable presence offering support and gather intelligence.
Is this program designed to alleviate crime?

The focus will be to DETER crime due to the Ambassadors high visibility and observational skills as these individuals will be unarmed and have no arrest powers. Ambassadors will be cognizant at all times that they are not law enforcement but a highly visible and reliable presence offering support and gathering intelligence.
Will the work schedule vary for Ambassadors? How will the public be notified of varying work schedules?

As circumstances require, the time schedules and tours will be adjusted, however, the schedule is such that four Ambassadors will work daily from 11:00 a.m. – 7 p.m. At all times Ambassadors will work eight hour shifts, seven days a week.  
Where are the funds coming from for the Ambassador Program? How long will the funds be allocated for?
The Ambassador Program is 100% funded by the 125th Street BID. The BID has contributed $250,000 to fund the Ambassador program for 2007-2008.
Where will future funds come from to further this program?
The primary focus is to provide the community with an added sense of support and comfort. The program will continue to be supported with BID assessment dollars: however growth and expansion of the program will depend on the support of local businesses and other fundraising efforts.  
What landmarks encompass 125th Street Business Improvement District?:
*Apollo Theatre                       *Studio Museum of Harlem      *National Black Theatre
*The Magic Johnson Theatre    *Lenox Lounge                       *Showman’s Night Club
*Theresa Towers (formerly Theresa Hotel)
*Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building housing U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel, State Senator William Perkins, Assemblyman Keith Wright, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, City Council Member Inez Dickens and other state agencies. During evenings in the summer months, this plaza sees increased activity including concerts, health and housing fairs, etc.
*Former United States President, William Jefferson Clinton’s office is housed in the Charles A. Vinson building which neighbors Carver Federal Savings Bank.  125th Street BID District is also the home to other financial institutions: Citi National Bank, Washington Mutual, J.P. Morgan Chase, Commerce Bank, North Fork Bank and Bank of America, City Bank.