A pilot project that was initiated by Calgary police last year has proven to be successful at reducing the number of calls for service in the city’s downtown core and will now be a permanent part of the service.

The Mobile Community Outreach Police Station (MCOPS) was created to increase accessibility, community engagement and public safety and police say calls for service in the area were reduced by 40 percent during the pilot.

Last December, District 1 officers deployed a Mobile Command Vehicle (MCV) and Checkstop bus to address social disorder and public safety issues downtown.

The initiative also allowed officers to engage with the community and answer questions but the vehicles were not equipped to take reports from the public.

“We heard loud and clear from the downtown communities that a highly-visible policing presence is very important to them, and our statistics reflect this need. We also recognized the restrictions bricks-and-mortar buildings have in relation to being responsive to changing needs and crime trends. We have found an innovative solution that pairs highly-visible and community responsive policing with operational and fiscal efficiencies,” said Staff Sgt. Shawn Wallace in a statement.

MCOPS can be deployed based on the needs of the community and will be in operation in the city centre from Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.