Police bicycle patrols coming to Clintonville

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The Columbus Division of Police is trying something new in the Clintonville area of north Columbus.

This summer, for the first time, officers are parking their cruisers and hopping on bicycles to patrol neighborhoods and bike trails.

Sgt. Dana Hess said many people are surprised to learn that 3-precinct is home to nearly 10-miles of bike trails, and says many of those trails are inaccessible by police cruisers.

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Now, jogger and cyclists will share the Olentangy Bike Trail and other nature paths with police officers providing a visible presence.

Sgt. Hess said police will also provide a visible presence before and after school, after receiving complaints about drivers speeding through school zones.

Sgt. Hess said the officers are not only making sure students make it home safely, but officers on bicycles can easily strike up conversations with parents who can ask questions, share concerns, and let officers know when there's a problem on their street.

"When you have that bike, that officer on a bike who's waving to you and saying hi to you, you're more willing to speak to them, reach out to them, and develop a relationship with that officer," explained Sgt. Hess.

Police said the summer initiative will put at least two officers on bicycles every day, seven days a week, and said it's already making a difference.

Police said when neighbors complained about two properties with serious code violations, officers listened and connect neighbors with Columbus Code Enforcement to work with the owners to get those properties cleaned up.