Putting police officers on bikes is an old concept, dating back at least 100 years. Over the past decade, bike patrol programs have made a huge resurgence to their increased effectiveness in urban and highly-populated areas. At UTC, bike patrols have proven to be an excellent method of policing our campus.
Bike patrols have many advantages. On bike patrol, an officer becomes more approachable, without car doors and windows creating a barrier between the officer and the public. This approachability augments the University's commitment to community policing by increasing informal interactions. A bicycle also increases access to areas such as trails, courtyards, and alleys, broadening our patrol abilities.
To become a member of the bike team, the candidate officer must attend an intensive, four-day training program. This training teaches the officer advanced riding skills, offensive and defensive riding strategies, and basic bike maintenance. There are currently several certified bike officers at the UTC Police Department.
Although UTC Police's bike patrol program was initiated primarily for crime prevention, we also use it to promote bike safety and education. The community and educational aspects of the bike program should reinforce bike safety, encourage riders to always ride responsibly, and teach proper care and maintenance of bikes. If you are interested in learning about the bike patrol program at UTC, or would like to organize a bike safety presentation, please contact Marion Perkins at 423-425-2145.