About the Program
The bicycle patrol is one of the McCook Police Department’s newest programs. Policing by mountain bike got its start around 1987 in Seattle, Washington, and has proven its effectiveness in many law enforcement agencies across the country since that time. Many larger agencies have developed a dedicated bicycle patrol unit where officers are assigned to bikes on a permanent basis. Smaller agencies have also adopted the idea as well, but on more of a part time basis.
The McCook Police Department utilizes bicycle patrol as an added tool which allows patrol officers certain advantages and flexibility when investigating criminal activities and meeting the needs of the city’s citizens. Bicycle patrol is not a separate unit within the department, but it serves as a supplement to the patrol division. The department has two multi-speed mountain bikes that are available to officers that have completed a bicycle patrol training course. The officer still has a cruiser assigned and available, but also has the bike to use at their discretion.
The bicycle patrol gives the following advantages:
- A decrease in the cost of fuel and wear on cruisers
- Mobility because the officers are not limited to the roadway
- Stealth approach to criminal activity
- Improved health to the officer
- Community relations - Citizens are more likely to approach officers that are more easily accessible
Areas that bicycles can be particularly effective include:
- Residential and business security
- Railroad right of way areas
- Surveillance operations
- Airport perimeter security
- McCook Community College campus
- The city’s parks and recreational walking trail
- Urban or wilderness search and rescue
- Congested areas due to traffic or large crowds
- Special events such as parades, park events, Red Willow County Fair, and sports events
For more information, contact the Police Department at 308-345-3450.