The first foot-patrol officers are hiking Kansas City neighborhoods in more than 30 years, says the Kansas City Star. Fourteen officers, all fresh from the police academy, will be patrolling four neighborhoods to try to reduce crime and improve living conditions in some of the city's toughest blocks. The patrols will operate from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays during a 90-day pilot program.
Deputy Chief Cy Ritter, who pushed to start the program after hearing about a similar one in Philadelphia, congratulated the first participants. “This is a new project,” he said, “but it's one of the oldest forms of policing.” Although some police board members expressed concern about using brand-new officers, Ritter said the well-trained rookies bring enthusiasm. They can respond to 911 calls if they are close. The police department will pair with researchers at the University of Missouri-Kansas City to measure crime and residents' opinions in the four target neighborhoods. They will compare that data to four similar neighborhoods that are not getting the two-officer foot patrols.