CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Cape Girardeau police hit the pavement on foot this weekend as part of a new initiative to increase safety downtown.
On Friday and Saturday night, two additional officers walked foot patrol in the Community Improvement District.
Patrolman John Ortmann worked Saturday night.
"The majority of this is proactive policing," he said. "The greatest benefit is removing the barrier of the vehicle for community policing."
Ortmann said there was plenty of community interaction and most of it was positive.
"It went great," he said. "I would say between 30 and 50 people on Saturday came up and shook our hands said thanks for seeing you downtown."
This marked the first weekend of increased patrols. The additional officers work overtime and do not take away from the regular work load.
Funds from the Downtown Cape Girardeau Community Improvement District's .5% sales tax is covering the cost of the additional work.
That's money well spent according to business owners like Tina Abbott.
"I think it will be a wonderful addition to downtown," the Cup and Cork owner said. "Any extra patrol or security just gives the business owners a nice warm feeling."
Somewhere in Time Antiques owner Paula Haas agrees.
"Anytime you have a police presence, even in an area that's safe, it still makes people feel better," Haas said.
That's what police are hoping for.
"The officer presence will help deter a lot of crime," Ortmann said.
The Cape Girardeau Police Department reports only one man was taken into protective custody on the inaugural weekend of the police department's foot patrol initiative.
There were no other arrests.