The Greenville Police Department recently ordered thirty new bicycles and bike racks from a local business to help fight crime.
This comes after the Greenville City Council approved a three-year plan Monday night that will get more officers out on the streets. The plan will place officers in specific areas so people in the community will know the officers patrolling their neighborhoods.
"The officers that are on patrol can actually put the [bike] rack on the car, go out and patrol, and then when they're not on call, [they can] park it and ride around in our hot spots and in our neighborhoods,” said Chief Hassan Aden of the Greenvile Police Department.
IMPACT officers out on the streets said the bikes make a huge difference. They hear more things going on around them, and people are more willing to talk to them.
“They’ll say 'Hey come here. Let me talk to you for a second.’ It's so much easier to be flagged down when you're on a bicycle than when you are in a vehicle,” IMPACT Officer W.K. Sawyer said.
“It’s fine. It's alright with me. It don't bother me none. [sic] They're just doing their job,” said Greenville resident Gabrielle Mills.
Officers said the best part is that the bikes help them catch criminals.
“It makes it easier to get places. You can take these places you can't take a vehicle. And it also makes it easier for a quieter approach. When you ride up people doing illegal activities, they have no idea where you came from. It's really a surprised look on their face,” Sawyer said.
“They catch the people faster versus jumping out of a car. Just throw the bike down or you can chase them on the bike,” Mills said.
Chief Aden hopes to have the new bikes by June.
Another part of the plan is to place officers in certain neighborhoods so they aren't moving all over the city.
The last part of the plan, yet to be approved by City Council, is to make the supervisor position of Code Enforcement a non-police position. Chief Aden believes making this change will allow his officers to spend more time keeping the streets safe and less time focusing on paperwork.
City Council plans to discuss the Code Enforcement issue on Thursday.