What happened to the City Hall Bicycle Patrol Unit?

Dear Editor,
WELL, the Christmas season is here and downtown Georgetown looks very festive, especially the illuminated Main Street at night. There are busy sidewalks filled with shoppers, congested streets due to the large increase in vehicles in the country and itinerant vendors hustling everywhere.

The Guyana Police Force has implemented a Christmas Policing Plan, and has revealed that there will be police patrols on foot, bicycles, motorcycles, and vehicles. The public welcomes this as during the holidays, there is always the risk of robberies, simple larceny, larceny against businesses and patrons, congestion and accidents, especially in downtown Georgetown.

However, what is disappointing is, the citizens have not heard of a similar plan from the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown, nor are they seeing City Constables in the markets, on the streets or in the shopping hubs.

Sometime ago the United States Department of State through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) donated some 30 quality police mountain bikes and accessories to the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown and provided special training to a number of its City Constabulary officers at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Prior to that the Georgetown Constabulary broke new ground and established its own Bike Patrol Unit back in 2008 with the acquisition of eight quality police mountain bikes and were assisted in the setting up of the unit and training of its officers by trainers who came to Georgetown from the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) in the U.S.

Why are we not seeing 38 City Constabulary Officers riding around downtown Georgetown now for the holidays? Probably in teams of two each. There are many benefits to having a police officer on a bicycle, with the most often mentioned being visibility and mobility.

This same mobility also adds a “stealth” advantage to bike patrols versus patrol vehicles. An officer on a bike is much smaller, quieter, and can go places that are not easily accessible by patrol vehicles. Also, a person fleeing from an officer generally can’t out run an officer on a bike.

The Georgetown City Constabulary led the way with this very worthwhile initiative that the citizens appreciated and welcomed. Why can’t City Hall maintain the one good thing that their City Constabulary pioneered?

Yours sincerely,
Jermain Johnson

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