Beat cops hit the streets
Calgary's new beat cops have hit the streets.
The 62 officers will be responsible for cracking down on crime in the downtown area.
The officers will patrol several zones including Stephen Avenue Mall, the East Village, Chinatown and the Beltline.
Constable Sheldon Sinclair began walking his new beat on Wednesday and thinks the extra police presence will make criminals think twice. "We have a really strong presence, it will deter them from committing crimes," says Cst. Sinclair.
Calgary's police chief says the beat positions are new positions, not just ones shifted from other areas.
He also says Calgary still lags behind other cities when it comes to the overall number of officers.
"Out of 10 major cities, we are rated eighth when it comes to cops to population ratio. Just to get the same cop to population ratio as Montreal we would need an additional 800 officers, but this is a great start," says Chief Rick Hanson.
So far the new beat patrols seem to be working.
"I don't have to worry about substance abuse. I can't get any substances to abuse. They have scared the drug dealers right out of here," says one man CTV News spoke to.
Police say that is exactly what the new beat patrols are supposed to accomplish.