AP NEWS

Charleston police unit on foot, bikes adds evening patrols

February 11, 2019

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Officials in West Virginia’s capital and most populous city say a unit of police officers who walk or ride bikes will have patrol hours expanded to add an evening shift.

News outlets reported Thursday that the Charleston police Hybrid Unit will patrol Tuesday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. The patrols will be concentrated around the downtown area, especially near shops and restaurants.

Police Chief Opie Smith says more people are out at night, so the unit is trying to make them feel more comfortable seeing officers on foot or bicycles they can talk with one-on-one. Smith says it’s also easier for the unit to focus on 911 calls in “problem areas.”

Three of the unit’s eight officers were moved from daytime to cover the new shift.

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