Downtown Bike Patrols
The city of Yakima and its police department are taking extra steps to try and make residents in downtown feel safer at night by starting bike patrols in the district on Friday nights.
Tonight Yakima Police Officers will begin a bike patrol trial program aimed at cutting down on crime, and make citizens feel safer going to restaurants or just taking a stroll at night.
Two officers will be monitoring the streets.
Police say the bikes makes officers much more personable.
"It gets the officer out of that car out of the moving vehicle down the street and theres more personal contact and direct contact," says Captain Rod Light.
YPD used to have bike patrols downtown years ago, but because of the recent citizen survey, that showed citizens don't feel safe downtown, those patrols are being revived.
"Several years ago we did have a bike patrol there was a full unit called "Scat" and it was very effective in terms of dealing with crime," says Light.
The program will be used tonight and the first Friday of October.
If successful it may return as a regular service next spring.
Yakima City Manager Tony O'Rourke will also be joining the Yakima Police Department on a bike tonight.