One of the tools used by law enforcement is the Bike Patrol Unit. Bike patrols are used for high visibility during the daylight hours and for just the opposite, stealth, during the night. Bikes are primarily used for patrol purposes in targeted areas.
Meaning the officers are assigned specific areas where crime and criminal activity are heightened. An example would be to direct the patrol in an area were there have been a lot of vehicles broken into in an attempt to catch the criminal in the act.
If you’ve ever ridden a bicycle then you know a bike can move swiftly. It is also very easy to maneuver and is extremely quiet. These attributes together give the Bike Patrol Officer a tactical advantage over criminals, especially at night.
Additionally, the bicycle patrol unit frequently participates in special recreational events and parades.
Starting the Program
In 1995, the Harrison Police Department joined the ranks of departments implementing a bicycle patrol program. We currently have 7 police officers trained as Bicycle Patrol Officers. They attended a 40 hour course learning different techniques for using the bicycle as a tool instead of a recreational vehicle. The course included an obstacle course and a 30-mile ride. These had to be completed before the officer became certified as a trained Bicycle Patrol Officer.
Officers Marvin Gambill, Chris Petty, Jeff Maurits, Jennifer Coyle, Joe Willig, Ted Yaeger and Bobby Seiter, are currently trained as Bike Officers for our department.
An officer assigned to bike patrol duties will drive a marked police vehicle with a bicycle rack on the rear, during his tour of duty. The officer can then drive to his beat area, park the marked cruiser, then ride the bike in the directed patrol area. The Harrison Police Department, Bike Patrol consists of 3 HARO, 21 speed, mountain bikes. Each bike is equipped with saddle bags where the officer can place all of his paperwork needed for taking reports and writing tickets. The bikes also have lights for operation at night.