By Emily Luxen
PELL CITY, AL (WBRC) - Pell City police officers are trading in their patrol cars for bicycles in an attempt to cut down on crime throughout the city.
Officers have patrolled city streets using bicycles since 2003. But now, the police department will increase bike patrols as the holiday seasons approaches in an attempt to crack down on shoplifting and thefts.
Thanks to donations and city funding, the department is now equipped with four bicycles made especially for police officers.
Sgt. Don Newton said the bikes will help save the department money on fuel, give officers a daily workout, but most importantly, make them more accessible to residents.
"On a bicycle, you are face to face and you are approachable," said Sgt. Newton. "When you pull up and stop at a park, people come to talk. People who might normally be deterred by a vehicle."
Pell City residents said they welcome the extra officers, and think the patrols will make everyone safer.
"I think it's a good idea," said Karen Perkins. "When they are driving by they don't see as much as when they are out in the open."
Sgt. Newton said the bicycles will not replace vehicle patrols, they will just complement what the department is already doing.
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