LAPD launches Venice boardwalk pilot patrol program

VENICE BEACH, LOS ANGELES

The program kicked off last Sunday. The officers are on patrol on bikes, which allow them a rapid response.

"Another advent of bicycles is that it's very friendly, and if the public sees officers on bicycles, it makes us very approachable, and we can stop and instantly talk to people," said LAPD Sgt. Brian Gura.

The crackdown follows a series of high-profile and violent incidents on the boardwalk, including the brutal beating of homeless man, and a newlywed woman from Italy who was killed when a suspect rammed his car into a crowd on the boardwalk last August.

Residents and area businesses say they like the two-wheeled approach.

"I think it's better because that way they can have more contact with people. When they're in their cars we don't really get a chance to see them doing anything too much," said Vivianne Robinson.

The LAPD says so far the response from residents and area businesses has been overwhelming. While this is still a pilot program, many are hoping that it will become permanent.

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