The next time you have a chance to talk to one of our older loved ones, ask them about cops on foot.

If they are old enough, there is a good chance that they remember seeing cops ‘walking the beat’ in their city or town.

The concept was very common through the middle of the 20th century.  In some places, like large cities, it is still a normal sight.  Instead of being in a vehicle or on a motorcycle, the police officer walks around a predetermined zone.  Generally, this zone was in a heavily trafficked part of town.  Downtown, for example.

In addition to the police officer being near businesses that could be the location of crimes, it also benefits the community to have the presence of law enforcement.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Could we soon see the return of cops on foot in our cities and towns?

It is already happening in some places.

According to an article on the WCSH 6 website, the Bangor Police Department is making plans to bring back a full-time walking cop to downtown Bangor.

The article explains that, between 2013 and 2021, there was an officer positioned downtown.  Unfortunately, the position had to be eliminated due to a lack of staff.

Now, the department is bringing it back.

The hope is that the presence of an officer on foot will help prevent some of the issues brought on by drug use and public intoxication.

Water Street Augusta (Google Maps)
Water Street Augusta (Google Maps)

Could the addition of walking beat cops help other Maine towns and cities?

In recent years, we have seen an increase in the issues of Maine’s downtowns.  The problems are not limited to Maine’s largest cities, either.

We have heard stories about awful activity happening in towns of 5,000 people and cities of 30,000.

Augusta, for example, has seen an influx of public intoxication, public drug use, and aggressive panhandlers in recent years.  There have been numerous complaints from business owners and their potential customers about unsavory encounters with certain individuals.

Would a greater police presence on foot act as a deterrence to this type of behavior?

What do you think?  Let us know by sending us a message inside our app.

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