Charlotte Bike cops driving down crime - | WBTV Charlotte

Charlotte Bike cops driving down crime, putting criminals on the run


A double digit drop in crime in one part of east Charlotte has criminals on the run. Charlotte Mecklenburg Police's secret weapon: bicycles.

Officer Clayton McManus and two of his fellow officers make up the bike patrol unit in the Eastway Division. They may be small in number -- but their work is paying off big time when it comes to crime.

"It lets people know that we are out," he pointed out. "We're enforce. We're around and they can't always see us or hear us."

That presence --especially along the Central Avenue corridor between Eastway and North Sharon Amity-- has helped crime plummet since summer began.

Just look at the numbers: Robberies, burglaries, car break-ins and aggravated assaults are down 12 percent. Armed robberies alone have dipped 5 percent.

"And it makes them a little more edgy, makes them not want to commit crimes because they know we're in the shadows waiting," said McManus.

And they're not just waiting. It's also a chance to meet known suspects face to face -- so they know who exactly is in the community.

"If they're in this area, and crime is happening in this area and we know that's the kind of crime they lean toward, you know put two and two together," McManus said. "You know they're not supposed to be there."

But riding around on two wheels instead of four has another benefits.

McManus says it also helps build community relations, something that's just as key to keeping crime down.

"We're able to get out and speak to not just adults, but also kids and everyone in between, and it gives them a better perspective of what we're doing and it helps out the community," he said.

 Officers ride during the day, at night and into the overnight hours in an effort to keep crime down.

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