During the recent spring break, nine Miami-Dade police officers endured a grueling 5-day training course to become bicycle patrol certified. Former M-Dade Schools police officer and now-certified instructor James Pierce led the course, teaching these officers bicycle safety laws, riding skills, and effective patrolling techniques.
Interestingly enough, the use of mountain bikes began in 1987 in Seattle, WA when construction in downtown Seattle was hampering law enforcement efforts to control crime in the area. Increased vehicle and foot patrol was rendered fruitless as criminals would commit their crimes and slip away around corners of buildings. Seattle police officer Paul Grady conducted rooftop surveillance and discovered the need for bicycle patrol officers who could navigate through the problem areas. Within the next few weeks, officer Grady and Mike Miller took to the downtown streets as part of the Seattle Police Department bicycle patrol unit and in their first 30 minutes of patrol, the pair reportedly made three felony narcotics arrests. During their first month, they made 500 misdemeanor arrests, which was five times the average for foot patrol!
Bicycle patrol units provide a unique and effective element in school and community policing by allowing police to deter more crimes and keep crime away from schools by being more visible. Without a doubt, the presence of bike officers in and around schools provides an added safety measure for our students, staff members, and surrounding communities.
Bicycles also offer many advantages police cars simply cannot match in economic efficiency; they save money on gas and maintenance costs.
Congratulations to our new bicycle certified police officers!