Langley Mounties will be seen more often on bikes and foot around the community, as they boost patrols of commercial areas that are now far more deserted than normal.
“We’re paying special attention to those areas which we know have businesses that are closed or have reduced hours,” said Cpl. Craig van Herk, a spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.
Every year when the weather warms up, the Langley RCMP sends out some officers on bikes, with their routes often including parks and other areas where patrol cars can’t easily reach.
This year, bike and foot patrol officers will be visible around business districts in higher numbers.
There’s a concern that with many closed and much less foot traffic, they could be more vulnerable to break ins.
Also, officers wearing their high-visibility uniforms will be seen more often in parking lots to discourage theft from vehicles, said van Herk.
“We’re still open for business,” van Herk noted.
The additional focus on business areas is part of a shifting of resources to meet the new demands as coronavirus has upended business, education, and daily life for thousands of people in Langley.
For example, school resource officers aren’t needed in schools right now, and their duties have shifted. Some will be out on patrols, van Herk said.
The bike and foot patrol officers also have some new pieces of equipment in their gear. While they won’t be riding around wearing face masks, they have masks and gloves as part of their personal protective equipment in their bike bags.
Van Herk couldn’t give the total number of officers who will be riding bicycles this spring, but a significant number of officers are already trained for the two-wheeled patrol method.
“It’s another tool in the toolbox of how we’re going to deploy,” he said.