NBA playoffs, ‘eyes and ears’ of the Deer District

NBA Playoffs
NBA Playoffs

Wednesday night, there were some new workers in the Deer District. Numerous Milwaukee youth ambassadors were hired as part of a collaboration with the Bucks and the Office of Violence Prevention to ensure that the fans were having a good time and were safe.

For the first time ever, the Bucks are paying over 60 ambassadors, ranging in age from 17 to 24, to help Fiserv Forum security ensure that everyone is safe in the Deer District throughout the postseason.

One of those ambassadors working to ensure the smooth operation of Wednesday night’s playoff game is Deja Branch, 23.

“We’re ambassadors, that’s what we’re here for! Go, team! Go bucks!” cheered Branch. “It’s very inspiring. This is my first time doing something like this, so I am honoured and I’m very thankful and grateful for this opportunity.”

Using a unique phone allotted to each section, their responsibility is to assist any curious Bucks fans and alert Fiserv security if anything untoward occurs in their vicinity. Deja and her team had a base in Zone 2.

Branch demonstrated to Mariam Mackar of TMJ4 what they are instructed to do on those specialised phones in the event of an emergency in their region.

“We go to the group chats and we [send a message] about the zone that we’re in, saying if it’s clear, or something is happening, and that will let (security) know that we need help over here,” she explained.

Their group’s supervisor and security are contacted by that phone. Sequanna Taylor, the District 5 supervisor for Milwaukee County, is one of those supervisors for Deja.

“It’s just great that the Office of Violence Prevention and the Milwaukee Bucks can come together on something like this for the youth, and show the city that you do have youth that care,” said Taylor.

Quinn Taylor, who is in charge of the ambassadorship programme for the Office of Violence Prevention, concurs.

“It’s been extremely fun it’s a joy to be able to work with the youth to offer these types of opportunities,” he said.

And according to Deja, the young people engaged have had just as much fun.

“It’s very amazing. There’s amazing people that I’m working with. We laugh, we do things together, we’re there for each other, and we’re a team!”

She is enticing others to participate in the future.

“If I can do it, you can do it. It’s a great experience, don’t give up on your dreams, and don’t be scared to try new things. Take that big leap of faith and just believe in yourself.”

During additional big citywide events, the Office of Violence Prevention hopes to add more youth ambassador positions. They want to involve as many young people as they can.

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