Alton Police will be patrolling some Alton neighborhoods on bicycles. The announcement came Thursday afternoon. The addition of bicycle patrols is being made possible through the assistance of Wild Trak Bikes and the Drug Free Alton Coalition.
In theory, the Bike Patrol Officer will be able to make arrests the officers in a marked squad car couldn't, simply because the Bike Patrol Officer's presence is not detected until they arrive on scene or an offender does not realize they are a Police Officer until they are unable to get away. Lieutenant David Dewall says the first day on patrol went smooth.
One of the goals of the Bike Patrol Officers will be to cultivate relationships and building trust with residents in neighborhoods to identify and eliminate crime in focused areas. One of those areas, at least at the beginning, will be around Ridge, Spring and 6th Streets.