Will San Francisco's new 'welcome ambassadors' deter city's rampant crime?

ByMelanie Woodrow via KGO logo
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
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San Francisco's Mayor announced a new program Tuesday to welcome visitors, employees and residents back to the city.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco's Mayor announced a new program Tuesday to welcome visitors, employees and residents back to the city. The announcement comes as businesses are struggling with retail theft.

The "welcome ambassadors" will be a new presence around San Francisco.

"We want to make sure residents can enjoy San Francisco, we want to make sure visitors enjoy San Francisco," said Mayor Breed.

Mayor Breed admitted the city needs some help.

"We still sadly have challenges with crime," said the Mayor.

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The ambassadors are meant to be a friendly face to assist with everything from directions to perhaps even a crime deterrent.

Something Isalis co-owner Christina says the city needs now more than ever.

"It feels like the wild, wild West out there," said Christina, who asked that we not use her last name out of concerns for her safety.

Over the weekend, someone stole from the store's Fillmore Street location; after making small talk with the salesperson, filled his arms with clothing and walked out saying, "shut up."

"He takes his time, he doesn't care whose watching it's the middle of the day," said Christina

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Isalis' Union Street location was also hit over the summer.

"The theft situation in San Francisco is not any one type of person," said Christina.

The store has three San Francisco locations and one New York City location.

"This is not happening in New York," said Christina.

Christina filed a police report which SFPD confirms.

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"I really do think the problem is that there's no repercussions," said Christina.

Once the Welcome Ambassador program is fully operational there will be 50 ambassadors around the city.

As for whether or not Christina believes the program will make a difference?

"I want to say I do but I honestly do not think that sounds strong enough," said Christina.