KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – Kingsport police will soon have more officers patrolling the streets on bicycles.
Seven police officers spent dozens of hours training this week, allowing them to ride their bikes while patrolling through some of the city’s popular crowded locations – the Greenbelt and Downtown. Police say doing so will help deter crime in those areas.
“Grand total these officers have ridden about 70 miles this week throughout Kingsport,” said Public Information Officer for the department, Tom Patton. “There’s 7 officers being certified this week, which will give us a grand total of about 16 officers that are certified bike patrol officers.”
Police said they are hoping to place the patrols Downtown and on the Greenbelt. It’s something Broad Street business owner Carl Matherly says is a welcome addition.
“Downtown, it’s all about response time. And with all of the alley ways and all of the different places to be, having law enforcement on bikes, that’s a fantastic concept. They get a huge thumbs up for that,” Matherly said.
Police agree, saying the bike patrols will help deter crime, including the wave of graffiti vandalism they recently investigated.
“The bicycles can go down alleys, they can go down sidewalks, they can go through crowds, places where the cruisers simply cannot go,” Patton said. “We hope to reduce crime, we hope to hopefully apprehend criminals by getting closer to them, but also give our citizens just a feeling of safety by having officers where we didn’t have them before.”
The Kingsport Police Department says the newly certified officers will begin bike patrolling immediately.
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