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More San Diego Cops Trade Patrol Cars For Bicycles

Aired 9/20/11 on KPBS News.

The San Diego Police Department's bicycle patrol program is growing. Cops on bikes are now cruising through the Hillcrest neighborhood.

Almost one year ago, the North Park area recorded the highest number of violent crime incidents of any neighborhood in the city.

In response, police stepped up patrols and some officers started rolling through the neighborhood on bicycles.

Captain Walt Vasquez with the San Diego Police Department's Western Division says, one year later, violent crime has dropped slightly.

"It's been very effective. It's very high visibility; it also gives them the advantage to move into areas, stop criminal behavior or get individuals from committing criminal behavior," Capt. Vasquez said.

Capt. Vasquez says the program has been a success and is now moving into the Hillcrest.

Seven officers started patrolling on two wheels over the weekend. They'll be out Wednesday through Sunday nights from 5 p.m to 3 a.m.

Capt. Vasquez points out crime hasn't spiked in Hillcrest. Rather, the move to get officers on bikes is one way to keep the neighborhood safe.

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