No there hasn’t been an increase in the number of Lincoln Police Officers doing neighborhood patrols. The cars have just become more noticeable because officers have been leaving on the
non-flashing blue lights on the ends of the vehicles’ rooftop light bar. These lights increase the visibility of the officer.
A growing number of police departments throughout the U.S. are using these “cruise” or “cap” lights to increase their visibility. In those locations that have been using this tool, there has been a decrease in the number of neighborhood crimes.
“The idea was presented to us by one of our lieutenants after visiting with another agency which had great success with the program,” Lincolnton Police Chief Rodney Jordan said. “We agreed to try it for a month and see if we had the same results before implementing it full time. It is a community tool to let our citizens know we are out and about in their community and there to help if they need us.”
Don't worry if the car is behind you with the steady lights, Jordan advised. The department uses flashing full blue lights for stopping cars or running to emergency traffic calls.
“You don’t have to pull over or stop for the steady corner lights,” he said. “We also utilize sirens for stopping cars and running to emergency calls. We hope this provides our citizens with a little more visibility.”
If an officer is approaching a potential crime scene or doing surveillance, they may choose to turn the lights off.
“Police departments across the country have been getting complaints that they don’t see officers doing patrols,” LPD Lt. Dave Mocanu said. “We’re doing the patrols; they just may not see us. We’ve been getting calls from people asking when we hired more officers. Visibility is through the roof now. You’d think a black and white car would stand out, but it doesn’t. It blends right in. Now people sitting in their living rooms, they see the blue light and know an officer just went by. We’re doing the exact same things as we were before, people just see us more.”