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Rich Smith, Nursing Student/Security Ambassador

By day, he's a student in Columbus State's Nursing program. By night, he patrols the streets as a security ambassador for the Discovery District Special Improvement District, a public-private partnership that provides additional safety services to Columbus State's neighborhood.

One night, Rich Smith was in the right place, at the right time, to prevent a routine police call from turning ugly. Here, Rich recounts the events in his own words. (Transcript follows video)




Columbus State’s campus is a small portion of the surrounding Discovery District. With dozens of businesses – including another college - there’s a full-time safety and security agency patrolling public areas connecting each property.

One of the security ambassadors – as they’re known – is Rich Smith. A Columbus State nursing student by day – security ambassador by night. Last February he noticed a suspicious person and radioed for Columbus Police. Once the special duty officer arrived and started following the man, Rich continued on with his rounds until an alarming radio call minutes later.

Rich Smith, CSCC Student & Security Ambassador: Coming down the alley when I got a radio call that there was an officer in need of help.

He knew what officer it was – and about where they’d be – Broad and Washington.

Rich Smith: I ran down and saw them here on the sidewalk – they were wrestling.

With backup still minutes away – it was up to him.

Rich Smith: So I had to get down here and make sure the officer still has his weapon. Once I saw that he still had his weapon I was able to hold him down to help the officer make the arrest.

His boss, as you’d imagine, was pleased it all worked out.

Ben Barker, Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District: I was proud to know he was at the right place at the right time. But of course I always urge caution because we never know what that person has on them in terms of weapons.

Rich Smith: It turned out to be an okay situation because everybody lived to see another day. That’s the reason I did what I did.

Just one Columbus State Student – making a real difference in someone else’s life.