One of the fastest growing trends in law enforcement and emergency medical response today is utilization of mountain bicycles. Quiet, cost-efficient, and amazingly effective, mountain bikes are able to bridge the gap between automobiles and foot patrol. Experience has shown that citizens are more likely to approach a bike patrol officer than even a neighborhood beat officer, optimizing community oriented or problem oriented policing efforts. Bicycle officers are better able to use all of their senses, including smell and hearing, to detect and address crime. They are often able to approach suspects virtually unnoticed, even in full uniform. And the mobility of an EMS provider on a bike can mean the difference between life or death in congested or crowded conditions.
Mountain bikes have proven effective in a number of different environments. They are swift and agile in busy urban areas where traffic snarls and crowds delay motorized units. Bikes are effective for parks, parking lots, academic settings, residential areas, business districts, tourist areas, special events, and more. They can be operated on streets, sidewalks, alleys, trails, and in any areas that are difficult to access with motor vehicles. They are also indispensable in urban and wilderness search and rescue and mass casualty situations.
The Bike Unit provides the Bartlett Police Department with a unique tool, which can be utilized to accomplish a wide variety of tasks. The officers who make up the Bike Unit rely on a strong community oriented policing philosophy to accomplish their goals. Due to the unit’s unique capabilities and mobility, they are often used for special events details, business and neighborhood patrol, traffic enforcement, as well as directed patrols to detect and observe numerous illegal activities.