The Pleasantville Police Department announced early statistics from the department’s newly formed Community Relations Bureau. Under the command of Lt. Stacey Schlachter, the bureau is housed within the Pleasantville Housing Authority High Rise and is responsible for the Community Policing Bicycle Unit, the Police Explorers Program, Special Events, Crossing Guards, and the Outreach programs the police department has become known for.

Sgt. Mike Gazo commands the Community Policing Unit, operating most of the summer from his bicycle, rather than a patrol car. He and his officers are responsible for patrolling the busy downtown area comprising Pleasantville’s Central Business District. Over the course of the last few weeks, Sgt. Gazo’s and his five officers conducted 25 pedestrian stops, resulting in 22 summonses and five arrests. They conducted 75 check-in’s with businesses and 15 welfare checks of people in potential distress, including two overdoses.

Meanwhile Lt Schlachter and the Community Relations team coordinated 10 community outreach events, including the annual Community Walk and Movie Night, National Night Out, and the Coalition for a Safe Community Field Trip. Upcoming events include the Ironman Race Series Bicycle Race and Crisis Intervention Training Presentations. Each of these events was well attended and meaningful additions to the already busy community calendar for the department.

Mayor Jesse Tweedle, Sr. credited the unit with significant progress over the summer, telling community members that he loves to see the officers on bicycles, interacting with the youth and seniors in the business district.

According to Chief Riggin, the unit is expected to reach full staffing before next summer, offering more opportunities to partner with the community and get more bicycle officers on the street.

“As a former bicycle officer myself, I know there is no better way to connect with the community than on two wheels. I am very proud of the officers and command of the Community Relations Bureau and I look forward to even more progress from the team in the next year.”

For more information about the work of the Pleasantville Police Department in the community visit PleasantvillePD.org.

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