Downtown Jackson is changing rapidly, and Downtown Jackson Partners (DJP) is looking to ensure that services keep pace.
To that end, DJP recently hired a new firm, Block by Block, to oversee safety, cleaning and landscaping in the downtown area.
Based in Louisville, Ky., Block by Block began operating last week in the 66-block area that makes up the downtown Jackson Business Improvement District (BID). The company provides teams of “ambassadors,” who provide a visible presence to help address safety concerns, litter, graffiti and landscaping.
The company is also being asked to help boost BID’s visitors. In addition to their other duties, Block by Block employees are offering tourist information and directions.
The company’s personnel operate in teams, and are very visible in their yellow shirts. The cleaning ambassadors address litter, weeds and graffiti. This team is responsible for the outward appearance of the downtown area, and will work every day of the week except Sundays.
The safety ambassadors, who patrol on bicycle Monday through Saturday, serve as additional eyes and ears for local authorities, offering radio communication and safety escorts for downtown residents and employees.
Ben Allen, president of DJP and Jackson’s unofficial “cheerleader,” said the new firm is a better fit for the changing dynamics of downtown.
“The instances of crime in downtown Jackson are way down,” he said. “Block by Block will be a visible team complementing our police presence, but they will provide other services to enhance the quality of our downtown area for people who live and work there.
“They are unique in their ability to take ownership of the area and address multiple issues that affect the perception of downtown Jackson.”
Contact MBJ staff writer Wally Northway at firstname.lastname@example.org.