The Central Connecticut State University Police Department has a six-officer bike squad that was established in the summer of 1993. The bike patrol operates 12 months out of the year, 24 hours a day and is capable of riding in almost all weather conditions. The officers are certified police cyclist's through the (IPMBA) International Police Mountain Bike Association.
The bike patrol has proved to be beneficial to the campus community and to the police officers. An approach to policing associated with Community Oriented Policing, the bike patrol has been very well received by students because of the added police visibility an approachability of a bike officer. At the same time, officers enjoy the opportunity to interact with students, faculty and staff in a positive way. Would-be criminals are not especially fond of bike patrols because of the mobility and unpredictability of such patrols.
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 patrol vehicles but too large for traditional foot patrols. These are traits that do no endear bike patrol officers to would-be criminals. The bike officers are able to respond quickly to many service calls, arrive unnoticed at times, and increase the likelihood of capturing a suspect.
The bicycle patrol will not replace the traditional police vehicle but the program has benefited the University community by returning the police officer to the "beat".
EQUIPMENT AND STAFFING
The Central bike patrol employs Raleigh 24-speed mountain bikes. Six police officers are qualified to ride and up to two units per shift are in operation.
Bicycles are specially designed for police work. The frames, brakes and gears have been expressly designed for high performance riding. Both bikes are equipped with high-tech lighting systems that provide excellent illumination while on patrol at night. Equipment bag with side pouches are also attached to provide carrying room for equipment.
Bike officers are issued long and short riding pants, jacket with winter liner, and polo shirts along with appropriate safety gear. All uniform items are equipped with proper patches, emblems, insignias and reflective trim.
The bike patrol units operate year round, around the clock -- taking into consideration weather conditions and staffing needs.
All officers selected for this patrol should be in excellent health and physical condition and be able to pass a physical and/or physical fitness test. Once selected, officers must achieve perfection in balancing, skid control, stair descent, hill and curb management, road safety and self defense techniques in a week-long course taught by a certified instructor. All officers who complete the course are certified Police Cyclists through the International Police Mountain Bike Association.