|There are many images that may come to mind when considering public Safety within a downtown setting. One may think of well-lighted streets or a well marked cross walk or even the simplest idea of strong police presents. These facets as well as many others must be married together in order for a downtown to appear safe. Many communities have exhausted an abundant amount of resources and manpower to do just this.|
The most effective and most expensive measure to combat crime as well as
accomplishing the goal of making the patrons feel safe is through the presents
of peace officers. Officers may patrol city streets in a number of effective ways.
Many cities have placed officers on horseback, on bicycles, in patrol
cars and in my opinion the most effective way to patrol, on foot.
Granted, not all of these patrol types work in all areas, all of the time
but can be effective when used properly.
Though effective as a group, each of the aforementioned patrol methods does have their limits. For instance, having a mounted patrol gives a very commanding view and presents over a downtown streetscape but could be ineffective in heavy traffic or larger crowds. What do you do with the horse while you apprehend a suspect? It may also be difficult to sneak up on a criminal attempting a crime while on the clanking hooves of a horse.
|As for “bicycle cops” the advantages are once again, having presents along pedestrian avenues. The ability to mingle amongst the public, giving off the feeling of security. They also have the ability to get to a location more quickly than a foot patrol. The disadvantage is once again, it may be difficult to maneuver through large crowds and catching a fleeing motor vehicle is just about impossible. As far as I know, bicycles don’t do too well when it comes to jumping fences or walls. Police on foot in my opinion may be the most effective patrol method. Once again, mingling of the police with the patrons lends itself to an era of security. On foot, officers may easily work their way through a crowd or in and out of shops. With the exception of chasing down a fleeing motor vehicle, there isn’t much a foot patrol cannot accomplish. Though each patrol has advantages and disadvantages, none are really effective without the back up of a cruiser. Can you see an office trying to take a suspect to jail on the back of his mountain bike? Point being, a city needs more than one type to be effective. Another way to expand on such an idea would be to follow the lead of Indianapolis Indiana. In 1995 Indianapolis implemented a programs that placed police officers on foot and bicycle patrol throughout their downtown area. They also implemented a “Downtown Security Partnership”, a partnership between other private and public security resources. Through this program Indianapolis saw a 9% decline in serious crimes between the years 2000 and 2001.|
Top 10 Safest Cities with
1.Amherst Town, N.Y.
|The price of security also comes with a hefty price tag. In 2001 the City of Livonia, Michigan budgeted 56 cents of every dollar toward public safety . It may have been money well spent considering it has placed them among the top 10 safest cities in the United States|
 Indianapolis Downtown Inc. – www.indydt.com/safety
 George Hunter / Detroit News – December 30, 2001 - www.detnews.com
|WebAuthor: Norm Tyler|