Center City District increases bike safety patrol team in Philly

The Center City District is expected to have additional patrol units through the holidays and into 2022.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Efforts are in place to add security measures right in the heart of Philadelphia.

The Center City District has expanded its clean and safe programs. The move includes 20 additional bike safety patrols.

Their day starts with a roll call and then the bike patrol units break off into their assigned beats in Center City.

"Particularly now, as we're all working before the holiday season and really to encourage office workers to get back, we wanted to add an additional layer of safety," said Paul Levy, president of the Center City District.

That added layer is doubling their bike patrol unit this week. That's on top of the 40 uniformed hospitality ambassadors, those doing homeless outreach and the 100 individuals removing graffiti downtown.

Bike patrol teams will work eight different beats during two shifts over 12 hours.

"Before -- the shift was 3 to 11 p.m. Now it's 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. So we're covering a full 12 hours but with a real overlap with the afternoon, evening rush hour," said Levy.

The increased presence comes after a man was shot and killed inside Love Park. Police say the gunman was a Christmas Village security guard who allegedly fired his weapon after an altercation with a man in the park.

Levy says the bike patrol unit will not be armed and have no arrest powers.

"They are eyes and ears of police. They are safety presence- a reassuring presence," he adds.

The Center City District is expected to have additional patrol units through the holidays and into 2022.

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