Bicycle patrol promises to cut down on crime

By Fred Childers – bio|email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – Shreveport police officers assigned to a special unit are patrolling Ingleside neighborhood on bicycles.

"I didn't even know they patrolled neighborhoods on bikes, that's new to me," said one neighbor.

Police officers are looking for hands on encounters.

And they don't hesitate to ask questions or even search them with a quick pat down.

"If they're walking in the street, looking suspicious not really going anywhere, hanging out, at vacant lots you go talk to them," explained Cpl. Shawn Hurd with Shreveport Police.

"I don't have a problem with it," said neighbor Jacob Gillyard.

Residents and say the system works.

"They're quiet and I don't think criminals are expecting it the guys stealing stuff, I don't think they are expecting officers on bicycles. So again it's that element of surprise," said Sgt. Bill Goodin with Shreveport Police.

"It's easier to sneak up on them, coast up to a stop basically you're almost to a stop right when you get to them you've stopped and you can jump off and lay hands on them," said Cpl. Hurd.

Aside from the tactical advantage the bicycles provide, it also allows the people of the neighborhood the neighbors here who abide by the law know that these police officers are here to help.

"And get that message out there we're out here and we're not just these faceless officers riding behind glass in a car with ac going," said Sgt. Goodin.

"You're more apt to hear them you can talk to them as you crawl by," said Cpl Hurd.

The officer's disadvantages are obvious, but what they lack in speed, and protection that a car provides, they make up for with accessibility and maneuverability.

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