Pictured above: Ben Hardy – Picture courtesy of City of Statesville
Statesville Police Officer Ben Hardy has a new assignment – Downtown Impact Officer. Hardy has been with the police department for 15 years and is looking forward to his new beat that will have him driving, walking and riding the downtown area daily and during special downtown events. “Yes, I will be riding a bike,” said Hardy. “Some days, that’s the quickest way to get around downtown.”
The Downtown Impact Officer position was established in 2009 to provide additional police coverage in the downtown area. Since that time, two officers – Joe Prevette and Tony Baity – have served in this position (Baity retired April 30) and “became revered members of the downtown community,” said Marin Tomlin, Downtown Statesville Development Corporation (DSDC) Executive Director.
“We are all looking forward to getting to know Officer Hardy better. It’s very reassuring to see our impact officer out and about patrolling the streets in the time-tested, old-fashioned method … interacting with the public on the sidewalks and visiting with business owners. This additional presence and visibility, over and above what is already provided by the Statesville Police, makes us all feel safer,” said Tomlin.
Hardy is also looking forward to getting to know the downtown folks. “I am very impressed with how unique our downtown is. I’ve seen shops I never knew were here and understand why visitors have stopped me wanting to know how to get to downtown,” said Hardy. “Downtown has really evolved … and I’ve started connecting to the people in the downtown and expect to create many good relationships.”
Hardy has spent the last eleven years with the SPD in the traffic division. “This is completely different than responding to traffic accidents,” he said, “but I want to build on the work and relationships the officers before me established and put my mark on it.”
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