However, an officer in a patrol car is highly visible, he can't easily scout back
alleyways, parking lots, parks, crowds, and other high-crime areas, and he has difficulty
pursuing criminals who don't use a motor vehicle to escape.
But unencumbered mobility is just one of the many advantages of police on bikes. This
mobility, combined with quietness and small size allows for surprise apprehension of
unwary criminals. Bikes are the bane of drug dealers.
They allow police greater contact with citizens than patrol cars and have a much
greater range than strictly foot patrols. Thus, bicycle patrol units are an excellent
match with community-based policing protocols. Residents and business folk love them.
Bicycle officers get some serious on-the-job exercise. Is there any doubt that exercise
is the closest thing to the fountain of youth? The "quad squad" officers are
lean mean crime bustin' machines. They're also hungrier than average, which bodes well for
A bicycle is significantly less expensive than a car cruiser. This translates to more
officers on the beat, more bang for the buck, and happy town and police department
administrators, as well as citizen taxpayers.
Cycle cops are also ideal for enforcing traffic laws for bicyclists to protect us from
ourselves. A heavy hand isn't always needed though. Probably just as effective for most
infractions is a simple explanation that bicyclists are required to follow traffic rules
like other vehicle operators and doing so is a lot safer than not. Educational
intervention at the point source.
Pedal pushing police can also enforce speed limit and traffic control laws for motorist
violators, making the roads safer for everyone. How's that for a snazzy way to raise
motorists' awareness that bicycles are legitimate road vehicles?
Police-on-bikes visibly advertise bicycles as ideal urban vehicles. If bicycles can
function as instruments of the law, then surely they can handle trips to the store and
If your city or town doesn't yet have a police bicycle unit, get working on it. The
advantages to bicyclists are great, and it's a crank in the right direction toward a cycle