By JAMIE PARSELL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The Princeton Police Department is pounding the pavement. On Wednesday, officers began their first day of foot patrol in downtown Princeton on Mercer Street.
According to Lt. J.W. Howell with the Princeton Police Department, officers will be present on Mercer Street throughout the summer months.
“We basically didn’t do patrols for a long time because we were short handed,” Howell said. “We are full strength now and have been wanting to do this.”
With warm temperatures on Wednesday, Howell said it was a good day to start and called in three other officers. The department plans to patrol Mercer Street at different times of the day and use different officers.
“We are going to mix it up,” he said.
Howell said he hopes their presence on Mercer Street will help area business owners.
“We want to let them know we are here,” he said. “We want to try and help them all we can.”
Kimberly Morrison, who owns Mala D’s Salon on Mercer Street, was excited to see officers walking the street.
“I feel a lot safer,” she said. “This will be a big help for our street. I am just so glad. It is awesome.”
Morrison said she could already see a difference in just half a day.
Besides helping business owners, Howell hopes the foot patrols will cut down on prostitution and public intoxication.
“We want to let them know we are not going to put up with it,” Howell said. “We have the man power now.”