Downtown Chico could soon be seeing a bigger police presence, in the form of bicycle cops.
The ever growing transient issue in downtown Chico has businesses suffering, such an issue that on Tuesday a "study session" was held to try to come up with solutions.
And now it turns out that one solution is on the way, bicycle patrols that will help to build a police presence downtown and deter some bad behavior that has built a negative reputation for the area.
City Manager Brian Nakamura petitioned Chico Police Chief Kirk Trostle to make it happen and downtown business people are happy to hear the news.
"I just think that people are going to feel a lot safer, as far as being hassled from panhandlers and the transients," says Stacie Sasser, who manages a downtown business. "Your car is going to feel safer, I know a lot of people who come in are worried about leaving things in their car. You know, everybody just feels a lot better about going downtown, and there isn't such a bad rep any more."
The bicycle patrols are set to roll onto downtown streets Nov. 4.
Chico police Lt. George Laver says they will be pulling a detective and patrol officer to make it all a reality, which could, according to Laver, impact investigations and responses to calls for service.
Right now the bicycle officers will be enforcing state and city laws, but if the Chico City Council passes the civil sidewalks, or "sit-lie" ordinance at their Nov. 5 meeting, they will have another tool to combat so-called "anti-social behavior" downtown.