police mountain bikes

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History of Police Bike Patrol: Over one hundred years ago, police departments routinely patrolled cities and towns by bicycle. The bike was tremendously popular only until the advent of the automobile. The bicycle then disappeared from policing. It wasn’t until the late 1980’s that the bicycle made a comeback. In 1988, Sergeant Paul Grady of the Seattle Police Department convinced his superiors that mountain bikes could be a viable patrol vehicle in the congested downtown area, waterfront parks, and market districts. Seattle believed that the bicycle could prove to be an invaluable tool. They were faced with problems such as vehicle congestion, vagrants, gang activity, purse snatchings, and auto burglaries. A solution to this problem seemed to be the mountain bike. It enabled officers to be mobile enough to respond quickly to calls for service with the ability to maneuver through gridlock traffic, congested sidewalks, and lots. It also enabled them to chase down fleeing suspects. Gradys implementation of the mountain bike soon led to the rest of the country’s use the modern mountain bicycle. By late 1993, it was estimated that over 400 law enforcement agencies had some type of bike patrol program. Presently there is a vast group of agencies that use the mountain bike for patrol operations they are:  City/Town Police  Sheriffs Departments  State Police  Military Police  College Police Departments  Housing Police Departments  Federal Park, and Forest agencies  EMT Rescue Departments  US Secret Service Funding: The establishment of the program can be achieved with the help of community policing funds. These funds have proved effective in helping departments get their program off the ground. The funds shall cover the cost of training, equipment, and uniforms. Establishing A Program: To implement a mountain bike unit for a police department you will need the support of Management. You will need a commitment from both management, and the officers who are selected to participate.  Officers who a selected to participate in the unit should be in good physical condition, and able to pass a physical examination by a physician.  They should also have the ability to inter... ... middle of paper ... ...ensive understanding of standard operating procedures, proper protocol to insure safety and minimize liability Equipment: Police departments have a choice of many types of bicycles, and equipment for their department’s use. The most common type of bicycle used is the mountain bike. It has a thick frame, and wide rims, and tires to handle the rough urban & off road terrain. Bicycles range in price anywhere from five hundred dollars to over fifteen hundred dollars. They should be equipped with a light, reflectors, and a duty bag for the rear rack. The bicycles should also be equipped with a water bottle holder. The officers must all be equipped with a certified helmet. Officers should wear gloves, and padded shorts. Officers should also be encouraged to wear their protective body armor, and a cotton polo type police shirt. Summary: The mountain bicycle has been proven to be an invaluable tool for the police. Most all departments now have a unit in place. The bikes are extremely popular with the public, and seem to break the barriers between the public, and the police officer. Having served as a mountain bike officer, I can attest to its success.

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