In early September, the Ann Arbor Police Department will be bringing back the beat to patrol the city’s downtown area. “Downtown beat” officers will often be on bicycle or foot and will provide a more visible, approachable police presence. These officers will also develop and maintain contacts with residents, business associations and community groups; involve the community in problem solving efforts; develop strategies to reduce crime and violence; and help to improve the overall quality of life on their beat.
AAPD is re-establishing the “downtown beat” in response to the community and AAPD’s desire to connect with the community it serves. The officers working this assignment will be focused on the department’s community-oriented policing philosophy. These officers will participate in community and business association meetings related to the beat.
The staffing for these assignments will come from a reallocation of existing resources, and no additional positions will be requested.
“It’s now more important than ever that our police department strives to maintain and build rapport with our community,” said Ann Arbor Interim Police Chief Bob Pfannes. “The beat officers will greatly help with this goal by establishing relationships with the downtown community of businesses and people and by helping to serve as city ambassadors to visitors.”
The addition of downtown beat officers in September will further enhance the department’s outreach and engagement efforts currently being done by AAPD’s Community Engagement Unit. The CEU’s range of services and activities are designed to educate the public about crime prevention, safety, outreach programs and to facilitate non-traditional policing solutions (such as mental health crisis intervention).