Fairfax County police to employ new tactics in urban suburbia

CHANTILLY, Va — For decades, Fairfax County police have worked in suburban communities with one officer in each patrol car — but that’s about to change.

The county’s new police chief, Ed Roessler, says changes in the density and design of suburban communities such as Tysons Corner, with its high-rise offices and homes, and the added growth around Metro’s new Silver Line creates the need to shift into urban-type police patrols.

That will mean two officers, often on foot, patrolling together in some areas.

“That will include rail policing and vertical policing that includes going up 30 feet into a high rise,” says Roessler. “The pairing is for safety reasons. Because you don’t want to wait for your backup in situations like that.”

The county is adding nine police officers to help man a new police division that will be focused on Tysons Corner. The new division will also work along portions of the Route 1 corridor in Merrifield and at Reston Town Center.

Roessler says the new patrols will begin around Thanksgiving.

The Silver Line through Tysons Corner is expected to open early in 2014.

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