Haverhill Police say a patrolman walking the beat is a practice that will continue thanks to a recent grant.
Haverhill Police Chief Robert P. Pistone told the City Council Tuesday the department added an extra officer to the downtown foot patrol on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. A move, he says, that has been well received by the public and the retailers.
“What we currently have, on the day shift, five days a week, we have an officer walking the beat downtown. Also, two days a week, we have officers on pedal bikes throughout the city. We have coverage on the night shift, five nights a week, but three of those nights we have two officers downtown on the bikes to cover for the bars and the restaurants. The public loves seeing the officers on foot. They love seeing the officers on bike. I think when you have that presence of seeing that officer downtown, I think that really puts people’s minds at ease,” the chief said.
Pistone said patrols are paid by a state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security municipal staffing grant.
Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan used the opportunity to talk about residents not cleaning up after their animals downtown. Pistone said police are aware of the problem and are issuing fines to those who do not clean up after their pets.
On another matter, Council President Melinda E. Barrett raised the need for improved lighting and sidewalk repairs at the Golden Hill School and the Dr. Paul Nettle School
“Because of the children in the area, the mayor has agreed to fund some kind of lighting. Either school zone blinking lights or some kind of notification that you’re in a school zone,” she said.
Sullivan added there is also a need for sidewalk and general road improvements in same area. Councilors voted unanimously to send a letter to the Traffic and Safety Committee expressing their concerns.