Public Safety Initiatives

In recent years, we have received an increasing number of concerns from downtown business owners regarding the safety of their employees and customers. Concerns include, violence, harassment, theft, and an increase in graffiti. This has led us to shift our focus to find creative solutions to these complex issues our community is facing.


The BBA has long been engaged in work to keep downtown safe for all who live, work, and visit downtown.

  • Back in 2002 we helped secure funding for and founded the Howard Center Street Outreach team. Their main goal is to work with individuals who have mental health, substance use, homelessness, and unmet social service needs. The Street Outreach team works to ensure services are accessible for all individuals and helps keep downtown safe by addressing concerning behaviors that require intervention, but not emergency services.
  • In the Fall of 2021, we launched the Downtown Safety Ambassador Program, an initiative focused on ensuring our downtown service workers made it home safely. This project was made possible by the support and donations from our members and other key stakeholders in our community. 
  • With this concern of safety in mind and in an effort to give back autonomy to the employees, the BBA has hosted training programs over the last few years, including De-Escalation training, co-hosted by the Howard Center and Loss Prevention Training, co-hosted by Outdoor Gear Exchange and the Church Street Marketplace Commission. 
  • In light of the current challenges working downtown, the Howard Center Street Outreach team was looking for stab-proof vests. This is not something that was in the team’s budget this year and required outside funding. Thanks to a few BBA members and other downtown businesses, we were able to raise the $5000 needed to purchase a vest for each member of the team. 

What we’re working on now:

Fall 2022 Public Safety Projects



Issues we’re following related to public safety

Public Safety Resources

  • Downtown Safety and Security Guide
  • BPD Online Incident Reporting
  • SeeClickFix
  • Bike Registry