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New Vehicle Helps City Patrol Riverfront Area.

`Gator' Takes Bite of Reno's Riverfront Crime

Citizens of Reno, Nev., have longed for a cleaner, safer riverfront environment, free of garbage and unsavory behavior.

A Reno police department initiative aims to fulfill that wish.

The city's newest crimefighter is the "Gator," a redesigned John Deere model that easily negotiates existing pathways and low-ceiling areas under bridges in the riverfront area.

Originally conceived as a part-time position, the patrol quickly became a full-time job for Officer Tim Mayes in August 1999.

Mayes has handled a variety of cases, including the recovery of weapons used in an attempted murder case.

The concept of the "Gator" river patrol was modeled after Sacramento, Calif., and Boise, Idaho river patrols.

The patrol covers the Truckee River, bike path and city parks along the river from its eastern border along Sparks to its west Reno border.

Mayes uses a John Deere "Gator" that was remodeled by the city's Fleet Services Division.

In one month, Mayes issued citations for alcohol consumption, harassment of walkers, rollerbladers and cyclists, lewd behavior among buses and dog owners who don't pick up canine refuse.

In a 30-day span last year, he was involved in three felony arrests, five misdemeanor arrests, traffic citations and field interviews.

In addition, Mayes is working with the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Division to keep the Truckee River area clean as well as safe.

In warmer weather, Mayes works increased daytime hours because of increased pedestrian traffic along the riverwalk.

Details: For more information on the "Gator," contact the Reno Police Department at 775-334-2200 or Gail Conners, Community Relations, at 775-326-6315.
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Title Annotation:Reno, Nevada uses Gator
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 23, 2000
Words:266
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