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The Goodwill Ambassadors
Describe the Goodwill Ambassador Program.
The Goodwill Ambassador Program came into existence as a result of sitting members of our Miami-Dade Community Relations Board, and its former Executive Director, Dr. Larry D. Capp, making the observation that major metropolitan cities, such as ours, should have in its arsenal some means for utilizing the "Goodwill Concept" to deal with the challenges of large crowds that can sometimes place uniformed law enforcement officers at odds with residents of a community.
Under the direction of the Office of Community Advocacy, the concept has evolved into its current award winning configuration. As a result, the models first found in Daytona Beach and Washington D.C., have been fine tuned to boast an effectiveness that can now only be found in Miami-Dade County and a program recognized as a national model for delivery of excellent customer service. It is important to mention that the Goodwill Ambassadors are all volunteers, from almost every County Department, who have been trained in crowd control, customer service, mediation, conflict resolution, and crisis management.
What characteristics distinguish GWAs from other volunteer groups?
Our volunteers are activated to service whenever the The County's Executive Office receives notice that their skills are needed. Those calls for service may come from any one of the many municipalities of South Florida, and are first screened for appropriateness through Memorandum of Understanding established by the Board of County Commissioner's and facilitated through protocol in the Office of the Mayor.
There are currently some 200 volunteers serving as Goodwill Ambassadors, and they reflect the rich diversity of the population of Miami-Dade County. Their willingness to make a difference, by helping guests to our area deal with the special circumstances of an event, despite the culture and personal experiences that may differ from their own, sets these volunteers apart from the traditional manner by which Miami-Dade County chooses to deliver excellent customer service.
The Goodwill Ambassador volunteers qualify for this level of service by, first demonstrating themselves exceptional in the performance of their duties at their work site; they are good followers, excellent listeners, and excel far beyond the limitations placed on us by the prejudices associated with labeling, because of one's race, ethnicity, culture, or social standing. They have operated at such events as the Source Music Awards on South Beach, the Memorial Day Weekend -- Urban Beach Week -- which boasted out-of-town visitors that exceeded 450,000 tourists over a four day week-end. They have served closer to home, at the Downtown Miami Bayfront Park venue, during Music Fest Miami, and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) with all of its peculiarities and challenges.
Moreover, our Goodwill Ambassadors have been called to help facilitate the process for a smooth election, during which they demonstrated their ability to entertain tough questions while maintaining their neutrality and focus throughout the experience.
The Goodwill Ambassadors of Miami-Dade have a mandate to attend seminars and participate in trainings which can help them to tactfully deal with delicate situations whenever they arise. As an unarmed force representing the goodwill of our illustrious part of the world, the Goodwill Ambassadors have earned their reputation as resourceful and effective.
We find these men and women serving their communities armed with a pleasant personality, a passion for making a difference, and endowed with social skills and insights which allow them to make eye contact, and strong relationships, with people from every walk of life.
The County's Executive Office takes great care to use these individuals in a capacity that is comfortable for them and that will help foster goodwill, build community and make peace. We invite you to join us in this important endeavor.
2016 Memorial Day Weekend
On May 26 - 31, 2016, over two hundred Goodwill Ambassadors were deployed to assist the City of Miami Beach Police Department with crowd control, intermediate and disseminating information to the residents and visitors attending the Memorial Day Weekend events. This "peer" approach by trained professionals helps in maintaining the normal lifestyle while minimizing disruptions regardless of the remarkably increased number of visitors and residents.
This city hosts approximately 300,000 visitors during this weekend's activities and events. Statistics show a decrease of 80% in arrests from 2002 to 2015 in great part credited to the help of the Goodwill Ambassadors.
The following summaries of interviews were given at the 2016 Memorial Day Weekend events. They included Officer Harris, Officer Martineau, Martha De La Osa and Ms. Perez.
Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes
On Saturday, Sept. 27, the American Diabetes Association hosted its "Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes" event at the Marlins Ballpark. All attendees had an opportunity to get a diabetes test and learn more about prevention and care.
The county requested 50 volunteers to serve as Goodwill Ambassadors to help with crowd control and patron services. These volunteers provided an invaluable service to our community and contributed to improve the community relations at this event.Back to Top Page Last Edited: Fri May 19, 2017 8:22:14 AM
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