Bicycle Patrol Unit
In 1994, the idea for a bike patrol was first conceived by two patrol officers, Donald Jacek and Eric O’Brien. Working with Chief Richard Marchese and with the support of private donations, the bike patrol was implemented as part of this department’s on going commitment to Community Policing. In order to be assigned to the Bike Patrol, an officer must complete a three day, state certified bike patrol training course – COBWEB (Cops on Bikes with Education in Bicycling). It is loosely based on a course that was originated by the Seattle Washington Police Department, the first department in the country to use a bike patrol.
From its inception, the Bicycle Patrol Unit has proven to be a successful and positive method of our patrol function. The Unit has been utilized to augment the patrol division when staffing permits. Benefits of an officer on bike patrol include interaction with the public, quick detection of crimes and incidents, and they add an immeasurable amount of mobility within our community. A Bike Officer is able to respond to all areas town, sometimes responding to situations in remote areas where vehicle traffic is prohibited or unable to access. Our Bike Officers have been used for special assignments such as large sporting events and functions including the annual town festival Longmeadow Days.
Another benefit is the deployment of the bike patrol in areas that have experienced an unusual increase in crimes. Because of their inherent “stealth-like approach”, officers on bikes have been credited with several arrests that may have gone undetected by vehicle patrol.