The Anchorage Police Departments (APD) plans to begin foot patrols in the downtown area at the end of November.

APD Capt. Ken McCoy said the patrols aren’t connected to the weekend shooting of an Anchorage officer. He said staffing levels are slowly rising in the department, and the move is seen as a step toward a more proactive approach to crime.

“They’ll meet the citizens who work in that downtown district, they’ll meet the public who frequent the area, so it’s another step towards community policing,” McCoy explained. “And we think it is going to make downtown safer.”

McCoy said two-person foot patrols will be dedicated to downtown during every shift, active during the day but also at night when the bars get out. He said the patrols will be in addition to the regular officers who patrol downtown. The areas they’ll cover run from L Street to Cordova Street and from Third Avenue to Sixth Avenue.

The hope, according to McCoy, is to bring back foot patrols that were popular in the 1990s to more neighborhoods as more officers complete training and staffing levels continue to grow.

The newest officers will graduate from the police academy on Dec. 1, with another academy set to start almost immediately afterwards.

KTVA 11’s Lauren Maxwell can be reached via email or on Twitter.