More RCMP officers will be walking the streets of HRM in hopes of reducing crime and building a rapport with the community.
While not releasing specific numbers, the increased foot patrols will take place seven days a week and focus on pathways, businesses, recreation areas and streets. Police spokesman Cpl. Joe Taplin said they hope by increasing the number of officers on the street, it will make them more accessible to the public.
“It fosters a greater relationship and trust between the residents and us,” Taplin said. “It makes us more approachable … Residents can actually come up and talk to the officers as they’re on patrol.”
According to Taplin, foot patrols are a more proactive than reactive policing strategy.
“If there’s any problems or anything, we can come up with potential solutions a lot quicker by actually getting more interface with the public,” he said.
Taplin said pathways in parks and more secluded areas will get special emphasis. He said there have been incidents of assaults and thefts in these areas.
“But now with the officers that are actually walking in around the pathways, you know, people who are out there who might be thinking that they’re going to commit a crime will be seeing officers more frequently,” he said.
In addition to year-long beat officers, the Halifax Regional Police will also be beefing up its park patrol for the warmer months. Spokesman Const. Brian Palmeter said foot patrol is invaluable for connecting police and the people they serve.
“If you’re out on foot or on a bike, you’re much more approachable to the public,” he said. “I’ve been on the bike, I’ve been on foot, and I’ve been in the car, and I can tell you that when you’re out on foot, or out on the bike, people will come and talk to you.”