Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Advocacy & Safety
Reload this Page >

Law Enforcement on Bicycles

Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

Law Enforcement on Bicycles

Old 04-23-06, 04:06 PM
  #1  
lamajo25
Yes that's Me
Thread Starter
 
lamajo25's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Payson AZ
Posts: 260
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Law Enforcement on Bicycles

I just want some opinions. What does everyone think of police officers on bikes? I want good opinions as I'm trying to get us some bikes at my department and would like some good feed back. No junk.
lamajo25 is offline  
Old 04-23-06, 04:11 PM
  #2  
thelung
...
 
thelung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: hell
Posts: 750

Bikes: some piece of s h i t

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I Thought bears and gorillas were the only other animals that can ride bikes?
thelung is offline  
Old 04-23-06, 04:11 PM
  #3  
drissel
Senior Member
 
drissel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 113
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Our little town of South Williamsport PA had them, they worked pretty good in the summer, they only had them when another cop was on patrol in a car. Came in good for the Little League World Series, they're quiet, can go places squad cars can't, people actually take time out to talk to the police. In my opinion they are a good thing, actually puts a police presence out there. I wouldn't use this as the only means of patrolling but I think it is a good idea.
Dave
drissel is offline  
Old 04-23-06, 04:41 PM
  #4  
2manybikes
Dog is my co-pilot
 
2manybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,561

Bikes: 2 many

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 999 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 12 Posts
There is an extremely nice bike path that runs through my town and four other neighboring towns. It has brought some tourism to the towns. It has increased awarness of all kinds of bike related things. Each town has a few patrol bikes and so does the state parks department. In fact so do some other towns. It is considered state park property and it runs through a couple of other parks. The state parks dept. has maybe 20 bikes for park rangers etc. not just for this area, but for all the state parks. Everyone is pretty happy with the bike patrols just for what drissel says. I know of a time they apprehended a car in traffic. They add police presence in the areas where the cars can't do as well like in the middle of the city and out in the woods or a park area. An officer on a bike can go down stairs and in narrow places and travel very quietly. The bike officers actually draw people to them who want to talk about the bike patrol, and the bikes. You can cover a lot more distance than on foot and the bike is cheap compared to a car or motorcycle. An officer on a bike seems much more approachable.

A lot of it depends on your towns geography and the density of the population. If you have lots of wide open areas and everything is far apart, it's not so good.
2manybikes is offline  
Old 04-23-06, 04:50 PM
  #5  
jakub.ner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 518

Bikes: 2 Xootr Swifts, Dahon Curve, Oxford Winter Beater.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Saw officers in Clarkson/Mississauga on bikes. Always two guys/gals at a time. What upset me once was seeing them ride on the side walk on one of the busier streets around the (then new) satellite presinct. I'm assuming they were trying to get to the lake front paths. I think if they don't want to ride on the busy road, it would be better for them to be picked up by a cruiser at the path than be visible doing *that*!

But I've always liked seeing them on the path/little roads; and when I moved to London, wondered why we don't see them here. London is a much more bike friendly town it seems, but no bike police (that I saw in my two years here).

I think it's a great idea to have bicycle patrol people in all departments. Even to always reinforce the importance of bicycles to the other street patrol guys in cruisers, on foot, or on horses. Also creates a great image (as long as they don't use the sidewalk!).
jakub.ner is offline  
Old 04-23-06, 04:55 PM
  #6  
scottmorrison99
New! With Self Loathing!
 
scottmorrison99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Fairfield, California
Posts: 1,618

Bikes: 2013 Jamis Xenith T time trial bike, 2013 Jamis Xenith Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think it is a great idea. It gets officers out of the car and into the public where they can be more involved in the community. people are more likely have a positive view of the police if they see officers as people in the community rather than just drivers of police cars who they only see outside of patrol cars when crimes are occuring. Patrol areas tend o be much too large to patrol on foot, but bicycles can put a beat cop back in the neighbor hood. Plus, criminals never hear you coming.
__________________
Scotty

Weird Bike Guy Blog
scottmorrison99 is offline  
Old 04-23-06, 04:55 PM
  #7  
Michigander
Banned.
 
Michigander's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,726

Bikes: Giant ATX 1200, Schwinn Peleton

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 437 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
They are great at the Woodward Dream Cruise because its a horrible traffic jam that bikes can squease right through, but then again, motorcycles can do the same thing better. I suppose its a community policing move (if I'm using that term correctly), and a move that makes far more sense in a big city than in a little town. Many people hate and fear cops and bike patrol officers seem to dispell some of that. Plus bikes are obviously cheaper than a fully outfitted squad car.

Only problem is bikes can't get anywhere fast, and they can't hold a lot of equipment.
Michigander is offline  
Old 04-23-06, 05:05 PM
  #8  
donnamb 
tired
 
donnamb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 5,652

Bikes: Breezer Uptown 8, U frame

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I am a big fan of them here in Portland. Apart from being a supportive presence to cyclists downtown and other places, I think it encourages positive interaction between pedestrians and the police. My only complaint is that they are the worst sidewalk riders out there. They're permitted to do so when necessary, but most of them just seem unwilling to get off the sidewalk to me. All the other police ignore it.
donnamb is offline  
Old 04-23-06, 05:14 PM
  #9  
closetbiker
Senior Member
 
closetbiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think Seattle had the first, modern bicycle patrol, and I know my city of Vancouver, BC has had a parol for a long time, and everything I have heard or read about them has been positive.

Googled it and came up with

http://www.ipmba.org/

International Police Mountain Bike Asociation. A great resource that'll help you out.
closetbiker is offline  
Old 04-23-06, 05:39 PM
  #10  
Paiyili
pAIYILI
 
Paiyili's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Pennsylvania, PA USA
Posts: 130

Bikes: Specialized Crosroads Sport (Hybrid)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by lamajo25
I just want some opinions. What does everyone think of police officers on bikes? I want good opinions as I'm trying to get us some bikes at my department and would like some good feed back. No junk.

Big fan of Bike Police. A few years back I got doored. Being a martial artist, I did a diving roll over the car door, rolled to my feet unscathed (nobody was more suprised at this than me). The bike didn't fare so well. Tacoed front wheel, bent bars. FIFTEEN SECONDS after it happened, (I swear) around the corner comes the local bicycle patrol officer. He was completely sympathetic to my situation, lectured the driver about how I had been in the right place, doing the right thing (it was a narrow street, too narrow for a 3-foot safety zone between me and the parked cars), ticketed the driver ($80), and made him give me his insurance info. Yep, I am a big fan of bicycle patrol officers.
Paiyili is offline  
Old 04-23-06, 06:14 PM
  #11  
rando
Senior Member
 
rando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 2,968
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's a good idea. it makes them more accessible to people, and therefore less intimidating, while at the same time helping deter street crime by being extremely visible and aware of the immediate environment in a way they can't be in a car. they also have the advantage of being able to respond faster and with more agility in some situations. I just saw two Bike cops in Tempe last week on my commute.
__________________
"Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

Last edited by rando; 04-23-06 at 06:21 PM.
rando is offline  
Old 04-23-06, 06:27 PM
  #12  
newbojeff
Commuter First
 
newbojeff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I saw a Boston PD officer on bike on my commute Thursday. Great to see. As above, I can only think that having officers on bikes increases interactions with the public. Much more approachable than officers sitting or driving in a squad car.

I'd be surprised if you are going to find any negative views among the choir here. Other than riding on the sidewalk, anyone else have a negative interaction with bicycle-mounted officers (that you didn't deserve)?

Good luck.
newbojeff is offline  
Old 04-23-06, 06:33 PM
  #13  
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Posts: 24,236
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 704 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm trying to think about this from the perspective of the police, the public and as a cyclist. I find that I have both positive and negative feelings.

First, bike cops can serve some of the same purposes as horse mounted police. They can be very useful for patrolling parks, demonstrations, parades, crowds, etc. -- any event or location with lots of pedestrians and cyclists.They seem to make officers more accessible and friendly seeming, as somebody else mentioned, and that's a positive. However, they are not as picturesque as mounteds, and nowhere near as intimidating in a riot situation.

They are stealthy, so effectively used arrest people for "nuisance crimes" like smoking weed on the sidewalk. Your superiors will like that, but I think it sucks. I suppose they're good for chasing bad guys on foot or on bikes, but not as good as small motor scooters, which I think are underused in police work.

As a cyclist, I have misgivings about the riding abilities of most bike cops. I can very easily outride the ones around here, and I'm 50 years old, so that's kind of pitiful. Most cops understandably want to be big (muscular and/or fat), but that's a detriment for cycling all day. Plus they carry like 30 pouds of gear or even more. (I do that too, but not when I'm in a hurry.) One cop here told me he actually only rides about six or seven miles a day and I have absolutely no respect for low mileage like that. And they're really slow, which is pretty funny.

But they probably do improve the image of cycling, especially utility cycling, and that's a great thing.
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline  
Old 04-23-06, 06:41 PM
  #14  
barba
Senior Member
 
barba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,083
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I am all for it. At $3 gas, it shouldn't be that hard a sell. Bike police I think are more approachable. I have talked with cops about bikes on many occasions. I also think it does a fairly good job of elevating the profile of bicyclists with the average driver and also make the police more aware of the issues cyclists face. Win win and eco friendly.
barba is offline  
Old 04-23-06, 07:01 PM
  #15  
Slow Train
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 462

Bikes: 2006 Specialized S-Works Tricross

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cops on bicycles are much more effective in noticing and breaking up street crime. I know that here in DC they have been particularly potent against open air drug sales.

Secondly - cops on bicycles stay more physically fit. Too many patrol cars are manned by guys who couldn't run 10 feet to save their life (or mine).
Slow Train is offline  
Old 04-24-06, 03:20 AM
  #16  
karmical
THC Freedom Fighter
 
karmical's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: OaKsTeRdAm
Posts: 1,112
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
where in your department will this bicycle division fall under? i found that this was a major stumbling block when i presented it to my former department back in the day-

do you have someones' ear / or enough yrs under your belt to be taken seriously? remember you're talking change to the rank and file, you know the deal.

logistically it can be a nightmare if there are not substations in place.

don't get those pos overpriced made for cop bikes that are available from galls or any other supply house, get real duty cycles.

best of luck to you-
__________________
Smoke all you want too, we'll grow more...
karmical is offline  
Old 04-24-06, 04:11 AM
  #17  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 27,752

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 45 Posts
Originally Posted by Roody
One cop here told me he actually only rides about six or seven miles a day and I have absolutely no respect for low mileage like that. And they're really slow, which is pretty funny.
The "absolute" lack of respect says more about a certain mindset about respect for other cyclists than it does about the value of bicycling for police work.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 04-24-06, 05:00 AM
  #18  
Bockman
Castiron Perineum
 
Bockman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Taking a tip from Siu Blue Wind, I too am typing a lengthy passage of text down here to demonstrate the enormous amount of space available should one wish to use it-- in sharp contrast to the avatar text above this part.
Posts: 1,199

Bikes: '06 Salsa Campeon, '84 Cannondale R1000, 80's Nishiki Ariel

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Who would pay for the bikes?
Bockman is offline  
Old 04-24-06, 06:22 AM
  #19  
nova
hill hater
 
nova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: norton ohio 5.5 miles from center road tow path trail head
Posts: 2,127

Bikes: cannondale t400 1987 model and a raleigh gran prix from 1973

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by lamajo25
I just want some opinions. What does everyone think of police officers on bikes? I want good opinions as I'm trying to get us some bikes at my department and would like some good feed back. No junk.

Well i talked with some local cops during the mumfest here in downtown barberton last year and they all said the same thing. The number one benifit they find with bikes is the better level of interaction with the public. This obviously helps them to get to know the people they serv. Sounds corny as hell but its true. Police often are disliked by the public mostly because the public never see them in a manner where they can just talk about nothing inpaticular just shooting the sh*t so to speak. Bikes also give cyclists and cops something in common to talk about.
nova is offline  
Old 04-24-06, 07:16 AM
  #20  
ignominious
pointless & uncalled for
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: TOONCA
Posts: 378
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A lot of the above is prtty accurate. Officers on bicycles can be very effective, particularly in tight urban cores or other places where a swift response by car isn't always possible. They also provide a more community minded and humanised face for law enforcement. Being able to make a show of presence in a patrol car my be a necessity on occasion, however, being able to make a show of accessibility can also be highly valuable.

Incidentally, the officer in the UK with the highest arrest record is a cycle officer.
ignominious is offline  
Old 04-24-06, 08:01 AM
  #21  
Jerseysbest
J E R S E Y S B E S T
 
Jerseysbest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: DC
Posts: 1,849
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Anything that gets a cop not to sit in a parking lot with the car idling for hours and gets them on a bike is a good thing
Jerseysbest is offline  
Old 04-24-06, 08:16 AM
  #22  
San Rensho 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,657
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 138 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by lamajo25
I just want some opinions. What does everyone think of police officers on bikes? I want good opinions as I'm trying to get us some bikes at my department and would like some good feed back. No junk.
"If you don't know. Don't say anything.

And for God sakes Quit hating on Police Officers."


You forgot to add "The first and last words I want to hear out of your filthy sewers is SIR! Do you understand that, you maggots?"

Dude, tone it down, I haven't found that this board is anti police. There are those, myself included, that believe that police in general are dismissive of the rights of cyclists, but we're not a bunch of gang-bangers.
__________________
Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
1988 Ducati 750 F1
San Rensho is offline  
Old 04-24-06, 08:37 AM
  #23  
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Posts: 24,236
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 704 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by San Rensho
"If you don't know. Don't say anything.

And for God sakes Quit hating on Police Officers."


You forgot to add "The first and last words I want to hear out of your filthy sewers is SIR! Do you understand that, you maggots?"

Dude, tone it down, I haven't found that this board is anti police. There are those, myself included, that believe that police in general are dismissive of the rights of cyclists, but we're not a bunch of gang-bangers
.
I noticed a little of that "cop attitude" in the OP too. I'm glad you said something. I thought it was just me.

When he said "No Junk" my initial reaction was that I wanted to say "Yessir!" and then post something junky. But I held myself back and I think I gave him a pretty good response. We'll see if Officer OP agrees that it was good.
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline  
Old 04-24-06, 08:58 AM
  #24  
Michigander
Banned.
 
Michigander's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,726

Bikes: Giant ATX 1200, Schwinn Peleton

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 437 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Roody
As a cyclist, I have misgivings about the riding abilities of most bike cops. I can very easily outride the ones around here, and I'm 50 years old, so that's kind of pitiful. Most cops understandably want to be big (muscular and/or fat), but that's a detriment for cycling all day. Plus they carry like 30 pouds of gear or even more. (I do that too, but not when I'm in a hurry.) One cop here told me he actually only rides about six or seven miles a day and I have absolutely no respect for low mileage like that. And they're really slow, which is pretty funny.
As far as I know, most Agencys have requirements along the lines of you must be able to sprint 2 miles then ditch and chase somebody down to qualify to be a bike officer. Bike patrol officers are not speed demons like you or I because thats not their job. Remember, cops are sneaky little bastards who use stealth to get you by surprise for breaking various laws. You or I use bikes to travel, cops use them to patrol the neighborhood. There is a big difference.
Michigander is offline  
Old 04-24-06, 09:10 AM
  #25  
genec
genec
 
genec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West Coast
Posts: 26,297

Bikes: custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6340 Post(s)
Liked 61 Times in 41 Posts
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
The "absolute" lack of respect says more about a certain mindset about respect for other cyclists than it does about the value of bicycling for police work.
Jeeze can you be negative about everything. You need to pull your "mindset" out of where ever you keep it.

That 6-7 miles covered in only one day can be just as easily done on foot.

Locally, that 6-7 miles is two trips up and down the beach boardwalk. If a few more miles cannot be put in on an 8 hour shift, what kind of ground are these cops covering?

20 miles of bike riding in an 8 hour shift shouldn't be unusual at all.
genec is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.