Jul 5, 2012
04:14 PMThe Daily Scoop
Downtown Gets Dedicated Foot Patrol Officer
Hendersonville Police Sgt. Robert Merz speaks to members of City Council Thursday night.
WHAT HAPPENED? Thursday night Hendersonville Police Chief Herbert Blake introduced city officials to Sgt. Robert Merz, who will be a dedicated officer patrolling the downtown business district and Seventh Avenue business districts.
WHY DO YOU CARE? Chief Black was complementary of Merz, an Army veteran who has been with the police department since 2006, and his upcoming role working with local business owners and visitors to both the downtown business district as well as interests along the growing Seventh Avenue area.
"I've received many compliments about Sgt. Merz since I started here and we think he is exactly what the city needs in this new role," Blake said.
Hendersonville City Manager Bo Ferguson agreed.
"There are a lot of constituents in that area and sometimes they don't always get along, but we hope he will be instrumental in helping not only keep the peace but assisting visitors to that area of downtown," Ferguson said.
City officials say the business district officer will be responsible for patrolling the city’s business districts to include Main Street and adjacent streets and areas; as well as 7th Avenue East and adjacent streets and areas by providing a highly visible police presence in these areas primarily by walking foot patrols.
Merz will also use the department’s Segway and bicycles in addition to his patrol car to perform his duties and be a point of contact for most non emergency public safety concerns in these areas.
Merz said he looks forward to this new role being downtown between five and eight hours each weekday.
"I'll take all the help that I can get," he said.
WHAT’S NEXT? Sgt. Merz will begin his daily patrols of downtown and Seventh Avenue July 9.
Correspondent Jonathan Rich may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.