Monday, April 21, 2014

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Hudson Valley

Kingston Police Department re-establishes bicycle patrol unit

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Albany/HV: Kingston Police Department re-establishes bicycle patrol unit
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The Kingston Police Department is beefing up one of their patrol units. It’s part of an effort to interact with the community in a way they haven't before. YNN's Alexandra Weishaupt has more on the re-establishment.

KINGSTON, N.Y. -- The wheels are back in motion for the Kingston Police Department’s bicycle patrol unit.

“We’ll put our equipment on. We start biking. We start in the midtown area and the whole city’s the limit, wherever we have to go,” said Patrolman John Kurz.

It's part of an effort to become more visible on city streets and more approachable to members of the community.

“We want to serve the community the best way that we can. We want that ground-level interaction that we normally can’t get in a patrol car,” said Kingston Police Chief Egidio Tinti.

And the patrolmen say there are real benefits to being able to work the streets on a bike, helping them to cover a lot more ground in a day’s work.

“Just the senses alone. You can hear things a lot better that inside a car, you can smell things,” said Patrolman Christopher Hulbert.

Two officers are currently assigned to the unit and within the next month, the six additional officers will get their certification to ride and utilize bikes on patrol when they're available to do so during their shift.

Chief Tinti says the Kingston Police Department has had a bike unit for quite some time, but because of staffing issues, has not been able to fully take advantage the equipment until the recent implementation. But says the new reactivation is already getting positive feedback from locals.

“Our hopes for the bike unit is to have officers interact with the community in a way that we haven’t been able to do so in a long, long time and I think that interaction will foster better relations,” said Tinti.

“Chief Tinti wants everybody out and about. Boots to the street and that’s what we’re doing. We’re out here and it’s great,” said Kurz.

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