Behind the handle bars

While bicycle patrol presents a unique image, it's the same shift at the end of the day -- save the engine fumes


     The Instructor Course involves the completion of an IPMBA Police, EMS or Security Course and certification, application and the attendance of one of the five-day instructor courses. According to the IPMBA Web site, "Students learn to identify and correct improper technique; how to assist students to overcome individual difficulties; and how to incorporate various methods of instruction into the Police, EMS, and Security Cyclist Courses."

     The Maintenance Officer Certification Course emphasizes preventative maintenance, repairs and overhaul of component groups.

     The Bicycle Response Team Training Course integrates bike officers into a variety of crowd situations. Its topics include Incident command and communications, crowd tactics, precursors to violence, tactics for crowd management and control, and more.

     The Security Cyclist Course, for private security personnel, includes fitness and nutrition, vehicular and technical cycling, basic maintenance, equipment, and security patrol procedures.

     The Night Ops-Firearms & Tactics Course combines high-intensity tactical training with skill-building in a low-light environment. The course includes low speed maneuvers, off-road riding, live fire drills, a riding skill and firearm competition and more. IPMBA requires a current IPMBA membership, certification or equivalent, and a letter from the department authorizing participation.

Suitable investment

     Before an agency gets ahead of itself trolling the Internet for a bike, it should be understood that a bicycle patrol unit may not be suitable across the board. While a bike patrol can succeed where large motor vehicles fall short, agencies should decide whether their jurisdiction allows for the bike to excel.

     "Make sure that the environment warrants [a bicycle patrol]," advises Cohen. "That it is beneficial to the type of patrol being conducted, the bike can do things cars can't but they certainly have their limitations as well."

     He adds, "Bicycles are a great idea — everybody likes to ride a bicycle — make sure before you put that investment in, that you are sure it's right for your department and your area."

     Editors Note: Further information, such as available courses and training events in your area, can be found at each association's Web sites at www.ipmba.org and www.leba.org.

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