Boston police officials have ordered more than 160 police clerks, sergeants, and deputy superintendents to hit the streets, says the Boston Globe. Even officers from such elite units as the bomb squad and K-9 patrol, who usually hunt streets for guns and explosives, are walking a beat when they’re not responding to crime scenes, said Superintendent Daniel Linskey. The move, which affects only uniformed police, not detectives, is aimed at making residents feel safer and improving community relations.
As state budget constraints threaten to cut into the community policing program, it is also a way to reduce costs. More officers on the streets means commanders have to send fewer cruisers out to respond to crime scenes, which saves on gas. And it may help police deal with a smaller-than-expected workforce next year. Police officials are worried they will not be able to afford to hire all the officers enrolled in the December class at the Police Academy.