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LRPD Bicycle Officers Help Make Dent in Crime

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - When you're looking for direction to a problem, sometimes it's best to tackle it head-on.

Little Rock Police Officer Marquise Goodlow and his partner Officer Charles Starratt are assigned to the department's Community Oriented Policing Unit.

"It gives us a more closer feel to the actual neighborhood," says Officer Goodlow.

While riding bicycles, officers are able to build relationships with people who live in the neighborhoods they patrol.

Little Rock Police Department (LRPD) officials credit a variety of reasons to lower crime numbers, one big reason, community oriented policing.

Police leaders say so far this year, compared to the same time last year, the city has seen a 25 percent drop in violent crime, a 22 percent drop in homicides, a 15 percent reduction in property crime and a 17 percent reduction in overall crime.

Officers say it's easier for people to approach them if they're on a bicycle.

"Someone could step out on their porch and see us," says Officer Goodlow.

From starting conversations to ensuring safety, officers are patrolling the Wright Avenue Neighborhood Tuesday.

Officers say a strong relationship leads to better communication.

"When they're seeing stuff happening and them calling and reporting it is how we're actually going to find out what's going on and catch the bad guys," says Officer Goodlow.

Despite the summer heat, bicycle officers are in every part of the city with a direction to prevent crime, no matter the season.

"It's a mindset for the department... department-wide, from the patrol officer all the way up to administration," says Officer Starratt.

The officers in the Community Oriented Policing Unit can still respond to calls for service but the officers also attend neighborhood association meetings so they can get an idea of problems in each neighborhood then try and help find a solution.

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