Oakland launches community ambassador program following string of violent robberies

Dion Lim Image
ByDion Lim via KGO logo
Friday, July 30, 2021
This undated image shows a couple of the new Community Ambassadors of Oakland's Chinatown on Thursday, July 29, 2021.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Dramatic video and a press conference Thursday are highlighting how the community of Oakland is coming together in the wake of high-profile attacks.

In the video you can see Good Samaritans, who patrol in Oakland, spring into action to help a woman who was knocked to the ground for her cell phone.

This incident happened Tuesday at 7th and Franklin, close to the Oakland Police station.

RELATED: Oakland police investigate 2 violent robberies on same Chinatown block in 2 days

It comes a day after former senator Barbara Boxer had her cell phone stolen just five blocks away.

Thursday, Oakland's Chinatown kicked off its Community Ambassador Program.

The group is funded by the city, the nonprofit "Family Bridges" and other organizations.

RELATED: Oakland community raises funds to install security cameras in wake of violent attacks in Chinatown

The members patrol Chinatown, wearing green vests, helping with everything from de-escalation to harm reduction and more.

"We clean the street, we do graffiti abatement, and some of these folks here came on board because they wanted to give back to their community," said Sakhone Lasaphangthong, a Chinatown Community Ambassador.

The program currently has three community ambassadors on staff and two volunteers.

They hope to add more people with fundraising and community support.