(BLOOMINGTON) – Jenna Whiteaker will join the City of Bloomington as its first after-hours ambassador beginning July 1. The new position is one of four that evolved from a recommendation made by the Safety, Civility, and Justice Task Force. Joining the staff of the City’s Community and Family Resources Department, the after-hours ambassador position complements three newly created innovative public safety positions, including a social worker and two neighborhood resource specialists.
A visible presence for the City during the evening, the after hours ambassador will help maintain a safe and welcoming environment for downtown residents, visitors, shoppers, businesses, cultural organizations, and others. The after hours ambassador will serve as a bridge or liaison between City departments and those who do business in and/or frequent downtown at night. While strengthening relationships with businesses, social service providers, and residential stakeholders, the after hours ambassador will track, measure, and report on trends, challenges, and opportunities to enhance vibrancy, hospitality, and safety in downtown Bloomington.
“We are excited to launch the after hours ambassadorship, and proud to bring Jenna Whiteaker into this role,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “It’s a function that has helped open the lines of communication, nurture a positive atmosphere, and improve service delivery in cities like Bloomington that are distinguished by a lively night-time economy and cultural life.”
With a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, where she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration, Whiteaker most recently served as executive protection detail and inclusion and recruiting police officer with IU Police Department (IUPD). She was responsible for managing all logistics related to executive protection planning at large-scale events for IU executives and visiting dignitaries. Additionally, Whiteaker was responsible for the conceptualization, creation, and implementation of special projects for IUPD to increase diversity in recruitment for the Indiana University Police Academy. Prior to joining IUPD, she served with the City of Bend, Oregon Police Department. Whiteaker has also had experience in the hospitality industry.
“Jenna Whiteaker brings a wealth of experience to this position,” said Community and Family Resources Department Director Beverly Calender-Anderson. “Her public safety experience together with her ability to connect with people will contribute to the success of this position and be a great asset to the CFRD team.”
The Safety, Civility and Justice Initiative was initiated in August 2016 by Mayor John Hamilton to increase safety, civility and justice in downtown Bloomington in response to increased incidents of panhandling and intimidation and the presence of persons experiencing homelessness or mental health issues in need of resources. Following a three-stage deliberative dialogue process designed and implemented by the Community, Justice and Mediation Center (CJAM), the Safety, Civility and Justice Task Force was formed to address many of the issues identified in the CJAM process. The Task Force met from February 2017 until June 2017, when it issued its final set of recommendations to the Mayor.
For additional information on the Safety, Civility and Justice Initiative or the work of the after-hours ambassador, please contact Beverly Calender-Anderson, Director, City of Bloomington Community and Family Resource Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.