Location: Topeka

Bikes on the Beat in Topeka

A profile of the Topeka Police Department‘s bicycle unit from the Topeka Capital-Journal:

Topeka Bicycle UnitOfficers in the seven-member unit ride anywhere from 10 to 50 miles per patrol — spring, summer, winter and fall. While limited during icy road conditions, the bicycle unit is particularly important as outdoor activity picks up during the spring and summer months. Effective at patrolling large crowds or providing specialized enforcement in high crime areas, police officials say the bike unit is a valuable resource.

“Our main function is to help with calls we are close to and focus on areas that may have a high spike in crime and try to impact that,” said police Sgt. Guy Gardner, who has overseen the unit for the past five years. “The nice thing about being on a bike is that you’re seen, but not seen. A lot of people who see someone on a bike, they don’t realize it’s a police officer right away.”

Police administrators say the bike unit works well as a rapid response team that can react to a host of crime or community issues. The success rate, police say, has earned the unit special recognition within the department. [read more]

In order to be a member of the unit, officers must pass the qualifications set by the International Police Mountain Bike Association (I.P.M.B.A.). The unit has it own certified instructor and classes are provided yearly for surrounding agencies needing officers trained for police bike units. Training for bike officers includes a firearm course, designed with the bike officer in mind. Training includes the expertise of their own certified TREK bike mechanic.

Photo courtesy the Topeka Capital-Journal.

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About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web’s premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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