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Asheville Police Assigns New Downtown Unit

ASHEVILLE, NC – With the continued economic vitality and growth in the downtown area, Asheville police have seen an associated increase in calls for service in the Central Business District (CBD).

In 2008, officers assigned to extra duty downtown (called “augment”) handled more than 4,247 such calls, while also making more than 4,680 business contacts and recording some 16,000 non-enforcement interactions with the public.

To further bolster our positive efforts in the CBD, the APD has formed a dedicated eight-member Downtown Unit to patrol the area on bike, foot and with electric GEM cars.

“Nearly 20 percent of our calls for service and workload occurs in the Central Business District,” Chief Bill Hogan said. “This is another way for us to address that call demand.”

The unit, which officially began patrols on July 29, is composed of existing personnel, with the only related costs being to furnish each officer with a bicycle and its associated uniforms and equipment.

The unit’s area of focus is roughly bordered by Interstate 240 to the north; Hilliard Avenue to the south; the roundabout at Woodfin Street to the east; and Clingman & Patton avenues to the west.

“Having eight dedicated officers with a full-time focus on this area will allow us to develop and foster relationships with merchants, as well as with the people who work, live and visit downtown on a regular basis,” Chief Hogan said.

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