The use of police bicycles to augment the traditional forms of patrol has proven to be very effective. Bicycle officers can access areas that vehicles are not able to go. Bicycles are less obtrusive and more low-key than a patrol car. It allows an officer to approach a situation or a crime in progress without being observed. Additionally they are especially useful during outdoor events and festivals.
The Town of Oakland is home to both the Oakland Nature Preserve and the trail head for the West Orange Trail. Bicycle officers are best suited to patrol these very popular destinations.
Advantages to Using Bicycles
Another advantage of using police bikes is that it provides a better opportunity for residents, visitors and business owners to speak with the officers face to face in a more personal manner. Approachable and communication are 2 important factors in the community policing model.
The Oakland Police Department has 3 fully equipped police bicycles. They have police markings and high intensity lights for use after dark. They are outfitted with wheels and tires that will allow them to travel off road.
Officers assigned to perform bicycle patrol have all received specialized training on the use of bicycles in police work. They have revisited bicycle safety and rider visibility issues as well as how to apprehend someone from a bicycle.
Don’t be surprised if you see our officers peddling up the West Orange Trail or providing security at the Heritage Festival or one of the Town’s other outdoor events. For more information on the West Orange Trail, please read through the West Orange Trail brochure (PDF).