Bikes are increasingly important as a
law enforcement tool for police departments
On hilly, silvan campuses like
Wittenberg's, the benefits have proved
great. But so have the challenges. During
summer bicycle training of officers from
multiple jurisdictions around the university,
the campus offered officers a learning
environment filled with rich groves, meadows,
hills and stairs.
"Bikes give us additional mobility
over foot patrol, and can even improve
our response time," said campus Security
Director Daniel Krumholtz. Four
Wittenberg police officers and one security
guard participate in the university bike
patrol. In addition to police cruiser coverage,
Krumholtz staffs one or two bike
officers on most evening shifts.
'We like them because we can get
straight line transportation on campus
with a bike," he added. The $1,500 bike's
shock absorbers allow officers to go almost
anywhere on campus, he said. "The
other benefit is stealth — we can quickly
close on suspects before they even know it."
Campus police officers need to cultivate
the unique ability to protect the campus
while preserving, or even contributing
to the unique qualities of a learning
environment. Bike patrol is a useful tool
that maximizes both officers' contact with
the community and their ability to respond.
"An officer on a bike is less obtrusive,"
Krumholz explained. "Police in
patrol cars are perceived as outside, authority
figures that are unapproachable. An
officer on a bike is a person, who can fit
into community events, and is better able
to quell a situation before it gets started."