John Collins, the director of operations and public safety with the CASSD, says a main purpose of the bike patrol team is to be a visible presence for the community and to help visitors.
The bike patrol team started in 1999 as the most visible part of the City Avenue Special Services District. Currently, there are eight people on patrol. The patrol work is done on two shifts that include a Monday through Friday noon to 8 p.m. and then a second shift that runs Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“They are constantly making what we call positive contacts,” Collins said during a recent interview inside the district office at the GSB building at Belmont and City avenues.
As part of their patrol duties, the reps are required to make stops into various businesses. Many of the businesses within the district have logbooks inside that reps sign to show they made a stop. Currently there are about 19 logbooks throughout the district.
The idea behind the CASSD is to unite businesses and property owners, developers and residents to make City Avenue a more prominent place to visit, live or work locally. The boundaries of the district run along the City Avenue corridor on both sides of the street roughly from the Schuylkill Expressway to Wynnewood Road. It also includes many of the office complexes near City Avenue as well as the business district along Bala Avenue.
Collins, who has been on the job for just over a year, had previously been a Lower Merion police officer for nearly 30 years. He was hired last year after the previous director, Pet Herzog, retired in January 2014 having served in the position since the district formed in the late 1990s.
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