During the summer rotation, the Patrol Division assigns an officer permanently to the downtown area on foot and bicycle patrol duties. Downtown foot/bike patrol offers law enforcement officers a unique opportunity to interact with the public in a very accessible and positive way. The Downtown foot patrol area is bordered by Slater Street on the north and 10th Ave on the south. The east border is the Steese Expressway and Barnette Street the west border. This area includes Golden Heart Park, Graehl Landing, the Visitor’s Center and numerous local businesses and restaurants. The volume of foot traffic downtown during the summer is considerable and consists of residents, business owners, patrons, and tourists.
A foot/bike patrol officer has the ability to interact with the public in a relatively low-key manor. Officers can build rapport with people who otherwise may have very little police contact. Being on foot or on a bicycle reduces the barriers between the public and law enforcement. This gives the public and opportunity to ask general questions or address concerns that are not emergency oriented.
Establishing a police presence in the downtown area fosters a feeling of confidence and safety.