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
College Police Departments
Housing Police Departments
Federal Park, and Forest agencies
EMT Rescue Departments
US Secret Service
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 interact positively and work closely with the public.
They should also be self-motivated with a desire to develop and implement highly pro-active patrol tactics.
Officers should all be certified by COBWEB (cops on bikes with education for bicyclists)
They should be committed to a teamwork philosophy.
Have the ability to work independently and handle complex situations with little supervision.
Problem Oriented Patrols are accomplished by concerted and consistent enforcement in four steps. 1. Identification of problems and problem areas.
2. Developing alternatives to solve the problem.
3. Initiating corrective action.
4. Evaluating operational success.
Initially the objective is to identify problem areas, and groups. Develop intelligence on when, where, and how the problem is occurring. Reviewing calls for service, incident reports, interviewing and utilizing surveillance helps determine violation patterns.
Based on the information gathered in the first phase, a plan is developed using creative methods, and concentrated efforts to target the causes of the problem. An effective way of developing solutions is to hold a brainstorming session with field personnel. Develop a list of options, then evaluate each option for success potential. An action plan should be developed from this idea, utilizing patrol methods, which will be most efficient.
The third phase is implementation of the action plan. This may involve concentrated proactive enforcement activities in a particular problem area. Proactive...