The Richton Park Police Department Bike
Unit has two specially equipped bicycles
(lights/sirens, police decals and storage bags). The Unit also has four highly trained officers. These officers are required to attend a 5 day
(40 Hour) Bicycle Operator Training course, taught and certified by
IPMBA (International Police Mountain Bike Association).
The visibility of an officer on a bicycle cannot be matched.
With this visibility also comes an increase in human contact with the
community. In fact, it is much like the old "Beat Officers" who used to
walk the streets. They knew people by name and had a good feel for the
neighborhoods at a personal level. On a bicycle, an officer is much more
approachable than in a car and can help in building new contacts and
trust from the citizens. This allows officers to be proactive in
fighting crime rather than reactive. Bike Patrol Officers can be much
more aware of concerns before they turn into problems.
A bicycle patrol is also fantastic for public events such as
concerts, sporting events, festivals, road races and other large
gatherings. An officer can move quickly through a crowd while on a bike,
and can find short cuts, etc., where a patrol car would have very
diminished mobility in the same situation.
This same mobility also adds a "stealth" advantage to bike
patrols versus patrol vehicles. An officer on a bike is much smaller,
quieter, and can go places that are not easily accessible to patrol
vehicles. Also, a person fleeing from an officer generally can't out run
an officer on a bike.