Wednesday, March 27, 2013 | 4:19 p.m.
A Metro Police sergeant who has become a familiar face downtown will retire Monday then go to work overseeing the new Downtown Rangers program.
Sgt. Chris Curtis, who has been with Metro for about 20 years, has worked most recently in the Downtown Area Command. Earlier this year, his colleagues nominated him and he became a finalist in a national officer-of-the-year contest sponsored by Officer.com.
Downtown Rangers is funded by Downtown Project, a private development agency whose partners include Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. Rangers walk the Fremont Street Entertainment District ready to provide directions or other assistance to people in the area.
They also work closely with Metro and, armed with tiny lapel cameras, they will act as the eyes and ears of the department.
Jeanne Markel, Zappos downtown team director, said 11 Street Team members have been hired and more will be brought on as needed. They are recognizable by new uniforms – dark pants and brown shirts with a large yellow “R” on the back.
Markel described Curtis as “a fantastic person.”
Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.