Charlottesville Police 'Bike-It' On New Beat

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

August 3, 2005

Police officers in Charlottesville "bike-it" to beat crime. The Charlottesville Police Department is expanding their bike patrol along West Main Street.

Ask any Charlottesville police officer, and they'll tell you they are comfortable fighting crime.

"Anything that is not legal. Anything that is illegal, they are going to be making arrests," said Lieutenant Gary Pleasants, of the Charlottesville Police Department.

An officer may tell you they're comfortable riding a bike, too, which can come in handy for a new beat in the city.

"They'll cover the mall, and they are going to go down to the West Main Street corridor, and take in all the businesses there," explained Lt. Pleasants.

With the success of bikes and officers fighting crime on the downtown mall, it's no wonder the city's police department is looking for ways to grow to protect those along West Main Street.

"Luckily right now, we do not have a lot of crime there, but I want to be ahead of the game, and have my people there before it does start," added Lt. Pleasants.

The new style of crime-fighting for the West Main Street area adds more officers on the streets, but does not take away from other resources.

"No, it doesn't take away from anything. I can still cover what I need to cover with the people I got," said Lt. Pleasants.

With police officers now using bikes to fight crime in the city along West Main Street, it's not only the people who will benefit, but businesses, too.

"The increased presence is going to help us definitely, but Main Street has definitely been a very safe area for the past few years," said Patrick McClure, of the West Main Street Restaurant.

For people walking along West Main Street noticing more officers, they should be aware.

"They are going to be making arrests, and writing summonses for things that people do that are against the law," said Lt. Pleasants.

There are currently two officers patrolling West Main Street now, but another officer will be added later this month.

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