(KRON) – The holiday shopping season is here. City leaders in San Francisco are making an effort to increase public safety by expanding the community ambassadors program to the West Portal neighborhood.
“Some of you remember we made an announcement about increasing the number of ambassadors,” Mayor London Breed said. “The ambassadors program has been extremely successful. We not only have folks who work with urban alchemy or the downtown ambassadors, but we also have had retired police officers – a program that I brought to life a few years ago.”
Retired San Francisco police sergeant Kelly Kruger, after 20 years on the force, is one of those former cops who is now among the ranks of the community ambassadors.
“I was a psychiatric nurse before I was a police officer. So, in about four years I got to do what’s called the psychiatric liaison. That helps with people who have been placed on involuntary psychiatric holds,” Kruger said.
Some folks who work and shop in West Portal say they welcome the additional security.
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“I can speak personally as a young woman who is in a store alone or with one or two other women, late at night, there’s is limited things that I feel capable of doing to maintain the security of the store,” said Lillian Van Cleve, a manager at West Portal Book Store.
San Francisco city officials say the community ambassadors will make their debut in West Portal during the Thanksgiving holiday.