Bethlehem's Center City and South Side districts will see something that has not been in town since the 1990's; police on foot. Bethlehem's mayor, Robert Donchez, announced plans to reinstate the the downtown beat cop.
The business districts, which are patrolled by police car, bicycle and horse mounted officers, now can look forward to an additional police presence, which they believe better serves their business need.
For now, the plan is to have one officer work a standard Tuesday through Saturday patrol in both areas during the daytime. There is also provisions for a night time patrol, as long as staffing allows for it.
Store owners are betting that the personal interaction is what will make business better. Owners and shoppers will not only feel safer, but more connected to the city.
To prove this point, the daytime patrol officer even plans on giving the business owners in the areas his own personal cell phone number, so that can reach him directly if needed to help deal with any situations.
Also, the Bethlehem mayor plans to release even more details about the initiative in the next few months.