CAñON CITY, Colo. - Cañon City police said they've seen less crime in the downtown area since conducting foot patrols last fall, and the patrols will return this fall as well.
Officers walked the downtown beat last September and during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Capt. Allen Cooper said the patrols were effective in lowering criminal mischief and drunk-and-disorderly complaints.
Cooper said the patrols will happen again for this holiday season. He explained why the patrols are necessary.
"Downtown merchants who had witnessed crime or had been victims of crime weren't calling us," said Cooper. "When you have a police officer standing right in front of you, it's easier to take time to relay the information to us."
Walking many of those patrols will be eight new officers in the department. Cooper said walking the beat is part of the ongoing training those officers receive in their first 22 weeks on the job.
Even with the new hires, Cooper said, it's unlikely that police will have enough resources to walk the beat all over town.
However, Cooper said officers will continue to work closely with business owners in other areas of town, getting to know them and hearing their concerns.
"That's what community policing is all about," he said.