ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- For two years shoppers and business owners in downtown Rockford and in the Midtown District have asked Rockford Police for one thing they say will drastically cut down on crime. That's bike patrols, and now the tires are filled back up and officers are back on the bikes.
After a two year hiatus officers are back on the bikes on a regular basis.
"Overall I think people love to see us out on the bikes," Rockford Police Officer Josh Grover, said.
A few days a week we can see them coasting down State Street or through the Midtown District.
"They're a lot more approachable and not as aggressive looking maybe I guess on the bikes. We get a lot more waves and I guess people are more appreciative to see us on bikes,” Grover said.
The police bikes are just like any bike. They have no lights or sirens, and police say they actually like it like that.
"If someone is up to no good in a back alley or something it’s easy for us to kind of creep up on them or approach them on bikes,” Grover said.
Cops say riding through alleys and small spaces where squad cars don't fit is one of the biggest benefits of being on bike, but it also gives them a chance to meet us.
Crystal Douglas, who owns Wired Café on E. State Street, is one of the many business owners who wanted the bike patrols back. Douglas says she and her customers feel safer knowing the cops are just a few turns of the pedal away.
"They'll stop in here in the afternoon and people, if they have an issue where they maybe wouldn't call the police, they'll come in and they'll talk to them face to face. I think it's very important if you're going to have a vibrant downtown to have that police presence," Douglas said.
Although officers weren't doing regular patrols over the last two years, you may have seen them riding around City Market or other events.
The cops will be out on their bikes until about mid-October.