In their early days, because their job was to patrol the countryside, State Troopers rode horses. In cities, towns and villages, local police officers patrolled on foot.
Over the years, cops started driving around in cars and had less direct contact with the public.
In recent years, we are seeing a return to foot patrol as a means of bringing police service closer to the community.
We call it Community Policing.
In any neighborhood that has a foot patrol officer, she or he is likely to be very enthusiastic and love the job. That officer feels that the neighborhood is under her or his special protection.
The people who live in that neighborhood feel that way, too.
THE FOOT PATROL
She walks along. Her nightstick twirls.
She tips her hat to boys and girls.
The merchants smile as she goes by
All confident she keeps her eye
On each of their emporia.
She'll stop, do anything for ya.
Just ask, she won't ignore you.
She'll bend your ear and bore you;
But she'll always show when cops are called;
When cats are treed and cars are stalled;
When neighbors have a donnybrook
Or property's been wrongly took;
When any older person's scared
Or some dispute's got too well-aired;
Whenever there's the slightest need.
It's in the nature of the breed.
And what does she get paid for this?
Not love nor money nor hug nor kiss
Nor all the tea that China brews
Could tempt her from patrolman's shoes.
She can't conceive a job to top
The one she's got -- to be a cop
Pounding pavement, on the street,
To be outside and walk a beat;
To have the opportunity
To serve the whole community.
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CONSTANTINE'S CIRCUS, INC.
PO Box 7223
Albany, NY 12224-0223