With over 400 miles ridden by a bike patrol officer each semester, using a bike has many benefits for the environment, an officer's health and a departmental budget. The biggest benefit is to the campus community. An approach associated with being more community minded, the bike patrol has been very well received by students because of the added visibility and approachability of a bike officer. At the same time, officers enjoy the opportunity to interact with the students, faculty, staff and visitors in a positive way.
Patrolling on a bike gives the officer a great deal of mobility and enables the officer to quickly and efficiently patrol and respond to areas of campus that are inaccessible to either patrol vehicles or too large for traditional foot patrols.
Crime Prevention: As far as crime fighting goes, the bicycle has become known as the "stealth" vehicle of the department. Often an officer will ride right up on a crime in progress without being noticed by the suspect. The officers use their sense of hearing more. They are able to hear crimes being committed more than they would from the car and because of the greater mobility than that of the foot officer, the bike officer can respond quicker.
Training: All officers selected for this patrol must be in excellent health and physically fit. Once selected, the officer must achieve perfection in balancing, skid control, stair descent and ascent, hill and curb management and road safety in a week-long course taught by a certified instructor. All officers who complete the course are certified through the International Police Mountain Bike Association.
Equipment: Officers use a front suspension Raleigh mountain bike. The bikes are outfitted with both front and rear lighting systems, computer for tracking distances covered, and a rear rack bag used for holding items needed by the officer. The officer wears a specific uniform made just for officer's comfort while on the bike.