APD takes to ATVs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

APD takes to ATVs

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APD Corporals Jermaine Lewis (left) and Terry Brown circulate through Albany's downtown-central area on APD's new all terrain vehicles APD Corporals Jermaine Lewis (left) and Terry Brown circulate through Albany's downtown-central area on APD's new all terrain vehicles
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany Police Corporals Terry Brown and Jermaine Lewis patrol the Central District on the Kawasaki ATV's. Leaving their patrol cars for a more close up view, and more information.

APD Captain Bryan Lavoie said "This is just a way we can get people to come talk to us. To help us solve crime throughout the entire city."

Police officials say they want neighbors to see them riding their streets on the ATV's,.....and to come out and talk. They are looking for information that the people who live there have . And the folks are more willing to approach cops on these vehicles than in patrol cars.

Corporal  Lewis said, "They really have a lot of concerns that they want to reach out to the police and give, but they don't know how to. Us being on ATV's really bridged the gap. And let us be able to communicate better."

The ATV's let the officers go up and down alleys and across yards with more maneuverability. The officers say the machines may seem loud, but they have found that has been no problem.

Corporal Brown said, "We can get close enough, because I have seen people when we rode up on them, they did not know we were there. Then they will see a four wheeler and they think somebody is just riding. When they actually see that it's a police officer, their whole attitude changes."

Albany Police say they have a lot of confidence that the ATV patrols will be successful fighting crime. And people across the city can expect to see them.

Lewis said "It will make a big difference. Because word is traveling from one side of Albany to another. They are hearing we are on four wheelers. And that is our goal. We want them to know we're out here. And we're gonna be out here."

Not letting any obstacle slow officers down in their fight to take back Albany streets.

The motorized vehicles were a natural progression since the end of the mounted units of the APD earlier this year.  City leaders said that would save the city about $250,000 a year. The city auctioned off two horses and returned the other two to the original owners who donated them to APD.

APD still has Segway motorized vehicles that are still in use downtown and on the Riverwalk, in addition to bicycle patrols.

Albany Police officials say when you see the ATV officers, wave them down. They want to meet the people living in the neighborhoods, and gather information to help them keep crooks out.

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