Downtown Oakland CBD & Lake Merritt CBD

Security Ambassadors are under the direction of a single Operations Manager and management structure. Security Ambassadors are responsible for patrolling on foot and bike to serve as additional ‘eyes and ears’ of the Oakland Police Department, while serving as a visible deterrent. Ambassadors will report all activity that is deemed to be out of the ordinary and engage low level quality of life crimes in order to seek compliance through verbal request. All Ambassadors will provide a high level of engagement with workers, residents and visitors to improve perceptions of safety in both districts.

Heard On The Street

Oakland, CA: “Not long ago, I took my daughter to an appointment in Downtown Oakland. Soon after getting there, I realized I had locked my keys in the car. I went to a couple of business on the street trying to get a coat hanger to see if we could open the car. But no luck. I then tried a gift shop – no hanger – but a very nice young man there said he would call the Ambassadors. A few minutes later, a couple of very nice, kind, and helpful young men showed up. They got the car open!

Before I could ask “how much?” they told me it was free of charge…they are here to help when people are in need. I can’t thank them enough, not only for their help, but for making a possible scary event feel so safe. Thanks to all!”

Joanne P.
Sacramento, CA

Oakland, CA: “As the new owner of a Downtown Oakland building, I wanted to personally thank the Security Ambassadors for their assistance on February 8th, 2012. At around 5 p.m. last night, a young male broke a very large glass window on the ground floor of the building. The Security Ambassadors downtown last night witnessed the incident and responded quickly to alert police.

The presence of the Security Ambassadors and their quick response were extremely helpful to us as building owners. The ambassadors were also kind enough to help clean the broken glass on the sidewalk to ensure a safer environment for pedestrians. We truly appreciate the positive contribution your program is making to downtown Oakland.

Tom H.
Downtown Oakland employee

Oakland, CA: "Thank you for running a program that is doing a lot of good for the downtown Oakland area.


I want to personally thank you and your ambassador for returning my stolen bag to me. Thank goodness for his keen sight and quick action for securing my bag. I am a huge fan of Block by Block and I will be sure to return to the downtown area as a patron. Keep up the good work!"

Alex G.
Downtown Oakland employee

Oakland, CA: "If you could pass along to the appropriate people my appreciation of the workers in the Orange Shirts, who are keeping the streets ofOaklandniceandclean.  Also to the Blue Shirt Security employees whose presence is appreciated. 

I exit from the 19th Street BART Station on Telegraph, where it has evidence of homeless people there overnight.  I walk my grandson to theOaklandSchool for the Arts (located in the Fox Theatre building)and then back to BART to get to work.  I see the Security people there keeping an eye on things, and I have even seen them pick up trash strewn from the night from garbage cans.

These employees are makingOaklanda nicer place for me to go to workandfor my grandson to go to school.  I am happy that they are still here."

Paula E.
Oakland, CA

Oakland, CA: "I just wanted to drop a note and tell you that the Block by Block Security Team is doing a great job. My car was vandalized on 17th Street between Broadway and Franklin, and because Block by Block Security was on patrol, they were able to apprehend the suspect. They were friendly, worked well with OPD, and this is an example of the security team doing a great job. Please forward my thanks to them, and just wanted to let you know they're doing a great job. Thank you!"

Jessica L.
Oakland, CA

Hear more from the street...

Oakland, CA: "I would like to thank two members of your team and let it be recognized by their superiors that they have offered service and are highly appreciated for it.

Last Friday I encountered an unusual incident - my mobile phone fell down a drain as I stepped out of my car. I stopped [Ambassador] Nick as he walked down the street, and he put his thoughts as to how we could retrieve it.  Later that evening, after an ingenious use of sticks and duct-tape, he gave it back to me.

I also really appreciated his colleague Greg for offering support.  I was really impressed with their willingness, and I was delighted to find out that Oakland has a community support system offering escort and general help. Thanks!"

Leela F.
Downtown Oakland visitor

Oakland, CA: "I'd like to thank [Ambassadors] TishandNick. Nick found my car unlocked with the keys in the ignition near the YMCA. He guarded the carandTish came to the Y to get me. You can imagine what they saved me from! I'm so grateful for their attentionandcourtesy."


Mary Anne S.
Downtown Oakland visitor


Oakland, CA: "This morning we had an incident in our high-rise office building at 1611 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland.  A young man entered the building and managed to get into a tenants office space and steal a laptop and other electronics.  When he attempted to leave the building my security guard and I followed him out of the building.  At that time one of your security ambassadors, Amnat, was passing by and assisted us in retrieving the items for our client.  It is services such as these that your organization has implemented that have helped to bring this neighborhood around and back to being a safe and pleasurable place to work and play.  We sincerely thank you for your assistance over the time that the program has been in place.  We have found it very helpful in many ways."

Anya Chanes
Downtown Oakland employee


Oakland, CA: "I got into a car accident at a busy cross-street in uptown Oakland and needed my tire changed.  Some gentlemen from Block by Block changed my tire for me while I was on the phone with the police and my insurance company.  I told them it would be okay and I could change my tire, but they insisted, not wanting me to get dirty in my nice business suit.

They wouldn't let me lift a finger, and were so incredibly helpful and calm in a time when I was freaking out.  I don't know what I would have done without them, and I don't even know if they were just doing their jobs or being incredibly nice, but either way I wanted to say thank you!"

Dyan N.
Downtown Oakland visitor

Oakland, CA: "This morning I saw [Ambassador] Nick escorting a woman to the steps of 250 Frank Ogawa.  He was very courteous and helpful, and the woman clearly appreciated that Nick’s extra effort to not only tell her where 250 was, but escort her to the doorstep."

Zach S.
Downtown Oakland employee

Oakland, CA: "Hello, just wanted to say a quick thank you to Randy L., one of your street ambassadors, for dropping off some mail he found on the street back to us.  Apparantly whomever took out the mail today accidentally dropped a bill that contained an important check for a large amount and Randy was so kind as to return it to us before it got into the wrong hands. Thanks so much!"

Luka's Oakland
Downtown Oakland business


Oakland, CA: "I wanted to thank your team for the quick and efficient assistance yesterday. We had an irate guest who was unwilling to pay for his lunch. I called the uptown ambassador services and you had Tish E. out to my restaurant very quickly. She was patient and understanding with the guest, and very helpful in getting him to leave the restaurant. A short while later Randy L. arrived and was able to back Tish up.

I hate having to call OPD in for such a minor occurrence, and really appreciate the service that you provide. It was nice to have the same ambassador that introduced herself to me a few months ago be the ambassador that showed up to help. It made Oakland feel almost like a small town. Thank you!"

Caroline B.

Downtown Oakland employee

Oakland, CA: “Thank you for coming to our office today and sharing valuable information regarding how to maintain personal safety, utilize Ambassador services, and participate in keeping our community safe. Our staff appreciated hearing what you had to say, and your responses to our questions were thoughtful and helpful. This no-fee service that you provided allowed us to give our staff a sense of security about their workplace, which helps us keep our business running in downtown Oakland.

After the meeting, I went to visit your office on 19th Street to get some additional information cards. On my way, one of your ambassadors stopped to ask if she could help me find anything. I was also struck, while walking over, by just how visible their presence is and by their willingness to help. Thanks again for your help, and for being a presence in our community.”

Michael C.

Downtown Oakland employee

Oakland, CA: “I just wanted to let you know what a great job your employee Nick is doing.  I was lost and he helped me get to my correct destination.  He even accompanied me on the free shuttle to help me out.  Thanks a lot.”

 Donna K.

Downtown Oakland visitor

Oakland, CA: “I am writing to compliment Tish, Harry and Randy for helping me when I couldn't remember where I had parked my car this morning.  Just by chance I asked Harry, at Merritt Tower, where I might find help finding my car.  He stepped right in and worked with Tish and Randy to find it.  Tish went the extra mile to escort me to my car.  All of your staff were impeccably professional and helpful. 

Please convey my appreciation to your staff and thank you for having such a great team available to help.”

Lynn B.

Downtown Oakland resident

Oakland, CA: “On behalf of our artists and staff, I wanted to thank our Ambassadors Tish, Miles, and Randy for all their outstanding work.  It is a pleasure to see them out patrolling the community and to have them directly involved in maintaining the safety of our artists with disabilities--a very vulnerable population.  Their dedication to their work is much appreciated by all of us here at Creative Growth.  Thank you, Ambassadors!”

Jordan S.

Studio Manager of Creative Growth Art Center

I was assisted this week by one of your employee’s, “Kirk”. He was a most pleasant and helpful individual who noticed I was lost and walked me directly to my destination. He is a credit to your city and your organization!

I wanted to tell you all how greatful I am to have your crew around the Franklin St./17th/19th Street area. My office is on Frankin and I am always happy to see your ambassadors on bikes and walking around. I have witnessed several incidences of interventions that were both appropriate and needed and it makes me feel so good about having my office in downtown. I have had my bike stolen (with bolt cutters) but I have also seen many times where suspicious thieves have been thwarted. I'm proud of you guys and it is a great role for the men and women you have walking and biking the streets! Keep up the great work and I'll stop by with donuts soon to show my appreciation!
-Chandler H.

Thanks Ted for everything! Your talk really helped my situation out. Your words and your story really helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. I prayed for a word from God and didn’t expect it to come through you, but it did. I wanted to tell you how thankful I am for you. 
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

Shawn V.