PAWTUCKET — With the arrival of warmer weather the Pawtucket Police Department announced that officers have resumed patrolling various locations in the city on bicycles. The uniformed patrols began earlier this month in Payne Park and Slater Park.
“These patrols are an important part of our ongoing focus on community policing,” said Police Chief Paul King.
The two-officer patrols will be assigned to areas throughout the city on a rotating and as-needed basis, approximately three to four days a week, King said, responding to areas where problems could arise or where greater police visibility will enhance public safety. Assignments will include both daylight and night time patrols.
The bike patrols, comprised of approximately 25 officers on a rotating basis who volunteer for the assignment, will be under the supervision of Lt. Kevin Santurri and Sgt. Dennis Lefebvre. The bike unit will remain deployed until around mid-October or later if needed.
“I have long been an advocate for the bike patrols because they are a proven way to encourage better communication between our police officers and the public,” Mayor Donald R. Grebien said. “By increasing the public interaction and visibility of our police officers, they can also prevent problems from starting.”
Bicycle patrols also bring a popular and high profile presence to specific areas when dealing with a wide range of quality of life issues. Such issues can include public drinking, youths or others loitering, street level drug dealing, housing code violations, loud music, graffiti abatement, abandoned autos, parking issues and other matters of concern for residents and businesses.
Besides their assigned patrols, the bicycle officers regularly attend neighborhood crime watch meetings, assist with neighborhood clean ups and public events and provide crime prevention presentations and tips to community groups or businesses.
King noted that beside the personal touch of the bike patrols, members of the public can contact the Police Department by calling 401-727-9100, send an email message to report incidents by accessing the department’s Coplogic feature at www.pawtucketpolice.com , utilize the RAIDS online feature on the website’s crime mapping tab or log onto the department’s Facebook site.
— Douglas Hadden