Ann Arbor City Council asked the Downtown Development Authority earlier this year to consider paying for three downtown beat cops.
A trip by several DDA board members to Grand Rapids, however, increased the interest by some on the DDA to instead hire downtown ambassadors.
DDA Board member Keith Orr says ambassadors may better fit the needs of the downtown area. He says an ambassador in uniform can increase the perception of safety and be in direct contact with police if law enforcement is needed. He says law enforcement in communities that have hired ambassadors may have shown initial resistance but have come to see them as additional eyes and ears in the community.
It's a scenario no police department wants to be called to respond to, but one for which they must be prepared. WEMU's Bob Eccles joined officers from the Ypsilanti and Eastern Michigan University police departments this weekend for "active shooter" training.