By joe gorman
The police department has resumed its Violence Interruption Patrols for the holiday season.
The patrols, which place extra officers in spots deemed to be at risk for crimes, are run on a scaled- down version compared with patrols last summer.
Instead of help from other law- enforcement agencies, the department is running the patrols itself with the officers on hand, said Chief Rod Foley.
Foley said an average of five extra officers are out on the patrols, and they are assigned to areas where the department’s data and statistics show there has been an increase in crime.
The officers are on the lookout for guns or drugs and also want to increase visibility in the commercial areas of the city where armed robberies are known to occur, Foley said.
The department recently added three new police dogs, and they are being used frequently on the patrols, Foley said.
“That was one reason why we got up to speed in that area,” Foley said.
The dogs are especially helpful because of their ability to search for drugs and guns.
Having extra officers on the street also helps the regular officers, Foley said. He said they can be more aggressive because they know they have more backup, and there also are extra officers available in case the beat officers are swamped with calls.
“We want to increase our proactivity in times of the year when we see an uptick in crime,” Foley said.
Last summer, the department teamed up with 13 other law-enforcement agencies to run the patrols through the Labor Day weekend.
The current spate of patrols started over this past weekend and will run until the holiday season is over, Foley said.