Specialized unit battles crime, weather year-round
Author: Isis Romero, Crime Fighters Reporter, email@example.com
Published On: Apr 15 2014 09:46:29 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -
As thousands make their way to the various Fiesta events around the city, the downtown area can be especially hectic, with many parades, events, and special activities planned throughout the next several weeks.
The San Antonio Police Department’s Bike Patrol plays an integral part of keeping the peace downtown, especially during this time.
“We're pretty much worried about people being safe, having a good time, but without getting carried away,” said Officer Gustavo Segura, one of the officers on Bike Patrol. “So we're a lot more vigilant and a lot more visible during those times.”
The specialized unit, comprised of about 60 officers, not only combats major crimes like thefts, assaults, and shootings, but on many days, they also battle Mother Nature.
“If it's raining outside, you're in the rain. If it's hot outside, it's definitely hot,” said Officer Justin Turk. “You're wearing all the gear, wearing the vest, that definitely takes a toll. Same thing with the winter-time, it gets cold and rainy.”
The officers said they bike anywhere from 10 to 25 miles a day as part of their daily patrol duties, but during Fiesta, their jobs are kicked up a notch.
“The crowds increase, traffic increases, there are lots of traffic violations because people are in a hurry,” Turk said. “They're cutting people off, they're running red lights, they're turning in front of VIA buses, which is a huge problem.”
Both officers said they encourage spectators and visitors to need to remain extra vigilant during the course of Fiesta, as vehicle burglaries and other crimes tend to increase slightly with the higher volume of downtown activity.
“We're able to help them out with just about everything that any other officer is, so we're here to help, we're here to assist,” Segura said. “If anyone comes downtown, I want them to feel safe, especially since we are down here.”