Monday, December 04, 2006

Second Shift Bikes Coming Back?

Downtown patrols were weakened about two years ago when the "cops on bikes" dedicated to the BIA were pulled by the Tacoma Police Department because of staffing difficulties.

Tacoma, like other metropolitan police departments, has been suffering from a relative shortage of new recruits and transfers into the officer corps. This fact led to the transfer of all four TPD officers from downtown to beats in other sectors where calls for service were up and staffing was thin.

Downtown's "cops on bikes" have been a source of pride--the program was purported to be the first anywhere in the nation--but their presence is essential to safe performance of the BIA bicycle patrols, the folks in yellow and black who also patrol downtown on bicycles. The BIA patrols are not commissioned, nor do they carry weapons, and their safety and effectiveness depend upon immediate access to police back-up.

With the help of (then) new City Manager Eric Anderson, the BIA was able to restore two officers to day shift patrol within the BIA. Problems continued to fester, though, on the evening (swing) shift, and restoration of TPD patrol became a community priority.

Last Thursday, members of the BIA Board of Directors agreed to look into a new patrol configuration--one TPD officer riding with 2-6 BIA bicycles at one time. One of the two day shift officers (currently Jim Pincham and Marty Price) would move to swing shift if this configuration is adopted.

1 comment:

  1. Ebjornson6:33 PM

    Nice work Paul and everyone else who has worked on the isssue.

    Last Thursday, members of the BIA Board of Directors agreed to look into a new patrol configuration--one TPD officer riding with 2-6 BIA bicycles at one time. One of the two day shift officers (currently Jim Pincham and Marty Price) would move to swing shift if this configuration is adopted.

    I have heard this request from all of the civic leaders, residents and a number of the city council members.

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