BEAUMONT - By Megan Dillard - More people on the roads, more shoppers in stores, and more crime. It's all part of the holiday season. KFDM explains why one Beaumont police unit is swapping its cars for bicycles to help keep you safe during this busy time of year.
"Getting in the unit actually opened my eyes to a lot of the bike stuff." Beaumont Police Officer Chris Brinkmeyer is airing up tires, checking brakes, making sure his pedals and chain are in place. All part of BPD's Special Assignments Unit.
"The cool things about bikes is sometimes you can just ride up on a crime that's happening, stop it, and they never even know you're there." The nearly dozen officers are trading their patrol cars for bicycles.
Crimes don't just happen inside the stores. Officers are also keeping a close watch on the parking lots. They say you can do your part by hiding your belongings and locking your vehicles.
From the parking lot to inside the mall these officers are watching. "We want to make sure the people who come to Beaumont to shop can do so safely."
Creating a safe shopping environment and getting to know the people they're safeguarding. "Being on the bicycle makes it a lot easier to talk to people."
People like you if you plan to be out and about during the holidays. Men, women, children this unit plans to protect. "We're going to do our part to keep them safe and we just ask that they do their part as well, and at the top of their Christmas list, put their personal safety."
Here are some safety tips officers provided. They're important not only during the holiday shopping season but year round. Don't make yourself an easy target. Don't look like a victim. Keep your hands as free as possible. Consolidate your packages. Always pay attention to what's going on around you.
The Special Assignments Unit will start patrolling this Friday. You can expect to see them through the first of the year.