Vermilion

Oct 5, 2011 11:15 PM by Maddie Garrett

Abbeville Using Two Wheels to Patrol Streets


The City of Abbeville is cracking down on crime in a whole new way. They're now patrolling the streets on two wheels instead of four.

Senior Patrolman William Proctor is one of Abbeville's top bicycle police officers. He said he was on-board with the idea from the start.

"I love it and a lot of the guys do. It's a good way for the officers to see another side of the city and it's good for the community because they get the opportunity to see the police officers in another fashion," said Proctor.

The bike patrols aren't completely new. The department had them 12 years ago, and Chief Tony Hardy decided to bring them back to the streets.

"I thought I'd try it again to see if it would help out the city and the citizens of Abbeville and so far it's been a lot better than I thought it would be," said Hardy.

And there's a lot to like about the bicycles. They're cheap, no gasoline required, great exercise for officers and community friendly.

"People actually will come forward to talk to someone on a bike than they will a police car. I guess a police car is a little intimidating," said Hardy.

Not to mention these two wheeled patrols have the element of surprise.

"It's quiet, it's efficient and effective at preventing crimes and actually catching people in the act, we've actually caught several people breaking into homes," said Proctor.

And a bike cop can do everything a regular officer can, like pull people over and even make an arrest.

"We're able to function as a regular officer, if we have to effect an arrest we will call a support unit to come over and transport," Proctor explained.

Right now the department has six bikes, with patrols rolling every night from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. But the chief said he hopes to increase those patrols soon.

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