Redlands Police Department has ramped up patrols hitting the streets in pairs and on two wheels, expanding its bike patrol unit.
The patrol method will allow officers to move around the area quietly, as well as allow them more freedom to move around during large events.
The bicyclepatrols supplement regular patrols and are focused primarily in an area between Pearl Avenue on the north and Olive Avenue on the south; Eureka Street on the west and Sixth Street on the east.
Being on bikes allows officers to better build relationships with people and businesses since (officers) are more accessible, said Sgt. Ken Wright, who supervises the unit.
Among its duties, the unit proactively addresses downtown issues, such as loitering and public drinking. Having officers on bicycles allows for additional enforcement in ways a traditional patrol car can’t provide.
The benefits of having a bike patrol, as opposed to vehicles, is the ability for officers to approach silently, whereas a car would make more noise and headlights would alert anyone breaking the law as officers approach, Wright said.
While only 11 officers patrol the streets on two wheels, the unit is making its presence known this summer, and Wright said there’s been a
positive difference in the downtown area.
“There’s been less complaints and plenty of positive comments from citizens in seeing the officers.”
That versatility is part of the training to become certified as a bicycle officer, developing riding skills specific to law enforcement needs. The certification course involves up to 40 hours of physical training, health and nutrition information and tactical skills, such as riding up and down stairs, cone patterns and crowd control. Periodic eight-hour refresher courses are also part of the certification.
The overall goal of the bike patrols is to make the community feel safe, Wright added.
“We’re taking the steps for that by proactively trying to prevent criminal activity.”
Future plans are to expand the unit into residential areas, Wright said.
“For now, we will go where we are needed.”