After a rash of burglaries in the last three weeks, Dothan Police have beefed up patrol. They put more men on the ground, including more bike officers; Corporals Dennis Sallas and Jeff Arnold are a part of the unit. They spend their days hitting the streets, patrolling some of the neighborhoods that were the recent target of thieves.
Arnold has been with the unit for the last three years. He said the bike gives him an edge when it comes to fighting crime. “It allows us to go through backyards, around corners, and go around trees and it's a little sneaky. Who knows what we're going to roll up on. "
They’re looking for anything suspicious or out of place as officer try to catch criminal who have breaking into cars across the city. In the last three weeks there has been nearly 60 car break–ins on the west side of Dothan. “When the criminals start seeing the bike officers, they know we have stepped it up a little bit more to try to catch these guys. If we can’t catch them in one spot and we will catch them in another spot,” continued Arnold.
In addition to being a crime fighting tool, Lt. Todd David with the police department’s traffic division said the bike unit is serving as a community outreach tool. “It’s kind of a unique situation, when people see us on a bicycle it doesn't matter if you're 8 or 80 they like to stop us and talk. Of course it develops leads and good information.”
There are about 30 officers with the bike unit, which has help double the man power on the streets. David said, just their visibility has already been a deterrent for criminals in Dothan.