The City of Cleveland, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance and the Cleveland Parking Association announced a new initiative on Tuesday, focused on improving security and customer service at downtown Cleveland's parking lots.
As I first posted last week after a residents' meeting about downtown Cleveland safety, downtown lots will now have signs posted at their entrances that clearly state their assigned parking lot number and whether or not a parking lot attendant is on duty.
The city will have a police car assigned to patrolling in and around parking facilities, with a special emphasis on patrolling during special events, such as concerts and sporting events. The Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) will also have off-duty police officers driving its yellow SUV to patrol parking lots (but not parking garages).
Also, any parking facility that charges a "Special Event rate" must have an attendant on duty during the event through at least one hour after the event has ended.
Parking attendants will be taking customer service training provided by the DCA. This is the same training DCA puts its ambassadors through for the Clean and Safe program. Parking lot attendants will also receive special lime green vests which they must wear over their clothing at all times. Garage attendants will not have to wear the vests, but both groups will be issued a universal ID badge that will be worn around their necks.
All parking lot attendants must have access to a phone that will allow them to contact the DCA or the Cleveland police department. All groups have acknowledged that a parking attendant is not a security guard.
Parking facility operators will be making regular reports about lights out in and around their facilities. The DCA will compile these reports and issue them to Cleveland Public Power three times a week. Hopefully this will ensure that parking lot and garage lights are on at all times, increasing the feeling of safety.
Also, as I mentioned last week, the DCA will be implementing its "Put Your Junk In Your Trunk" campaign which reminds people parking in downtown Cleveland to lock up all valuables (or anything that could be perceived as valuable) in their trunk. Joe Marinucci, president and CEO of the DCA, says this should be done before you even drive to the lot, if possible. Signs will be posted at the entrance to parking facilities, reminding drivers to do this.
All these changes should be in place by the Cleveland Indians' home opener on Friday, April 10.