Officer Maynard Anken is doing his beat the old fashioned way: on foot.
"Today it’s tuck and roll. It’s like I got to get in. My hands are freezing."
The cold weather isn’t stopping him from making his presence known downtown.
"You’re just always on the go in a hurry to get from point A to point B and there’s no time in between, so it’s nice to actually stop, slow down a little bit and take time to talk to people."
The main purpose of the foot patrol is to cut down on a spike in crime during the holiday season, but the face to face contact is making a bigger impact with the downtown businesses.
Dominic Steppello, New York Connection Sales Associate says: "Seeing how you’re doing and how the cops themselves are doing. It’s nice. It’s nice to know behind the badge in a way and know how people are doing. You know it’s not just work, it’s also you person to person."
Kayla Huber, Metro PCS Manager: "It makes me feel safe too, especially because we close at 7:00 and it gets dark out a few hours before then, so you know it definitely does make me feel safe with him walking around knowing that there’s a patrol cop around him too, so that way if anything does happen, you know they’re just one phone call away."
Michael Thomas, Utica’s Finest Barber Shop Owner: "We’re trying to get a lot more people down here to downtown Utica and there’s a lot of other small businesses opening up down here so I think that having a beat cop will help people feel safe while walking around and deter people from doing illegal activities."
Edward Noonan, Deputy Chief Utica Police Department: "They enjoy it. I mean the feedback I’ve gotten from the business owners and the resident’s downtown has been positive, but the feedback I get from them is very positive as well. They actually enjoy doing it. Days like today is tough because it’s so cold, but our officers are tough too."
Maynard Anken, Utica Police Officer: "Just because the weather is a little frigid, you’re not going to stop doing your job. We’re walking downtown just because it’s the holidays. There’s a lot of new shops and businesses coming into the downtown area, and we just want to bring a little sense of security to the people that not only live here, work here, but visit here."
The foot patrol runs from Bagg Square up to Oneida Square and will continue throughout the holiday season.
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