VENICE (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles police are increasing patrols of the Venice Beach boardwalk in the wake of several violent incidents that have taken place on the popular tourist attraction.
The bike patrols, which began last week, are part of a three-month pilot program that will consist of 10-hour patrols beginning daily at 10 a.m.
"There's a legitimate crime-fighting advantage. Bicycles are very quiet, they can move in alleys and other places that are difficult to get a car," Lt. Steve Lurie said.
Officers on horseback will also help monitor the area on weekends.
The patrols are in an effort to increase security on the boardwalk following an accident last summer where a man drove onto the walkway, killing an Italian tourist and injuring 17 others.
In December, surveillance video recorded a homeless man being beaten by two suspects with a folding chair and pipe.
"That drives a lot of community concern and that's when our telephones started ringing and we're hearing 'Hey, we'd like to see more cops out," Lt. Lurie said.
Officials say the patrols allow police officers to be more visually present without disrupting the flow of boardwalk foot traffic.
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