The goal of the bike patrol unit is to enhance the Police Department’s efforts in the areas of community relations, crime prevention, and response to calls for assistance. Having our police officers on bicycles is a great way to encourage interaction between police officers and our citizens. During special events, bike patrol provides an added police presence. Officers on bikes can respond to areas that are not accessible to officers in patrol vehicles, due to terrain and/or crowds and is ideal for patrols at the Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve & Marina, and other city parks and bike paths.
The bike patrol unit consisting of two sergeants and seven patrol officers are assigned on a part-time basis. Each of these officers has attended a 40 hour bicycle patrol training class where they learned techniques used by bicycle officers nationwide. Each spring the unit spends a day at Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park in Cleveland. The training sharpens their bike handling skills and restores their confidence in their abilities after the long winter. The unit also has a yearly pistol range training session in which they qualify in the skills required of handling a firearm while on a bike.
The bike patrol unit has been used in nearly every neighborhood, park, and retail area in the City of Mentor. During the summer bike officers patrol every day, weather permitting. The officers encourage bicycle safety by setting a good example, by always wearing a helmet while riding, obeying traffic laws, and talking to young bike riders about the importance of bicycle safety. Members of the bicycle unit have been invited to various neighborhood events such as block parties, to interact with both children and adults.
The bike patrol officers wear a specialized uniform while working on the unit; it consists of a royal blue shirt with reflective lettering on the back. Bike patrol officers use Trek Police Mountain Bikes outfitted with a headlight, taillight, a trip computer, and an audible buzzer. The bikes are professionally serviced by a member of the team who received training in bike maintenance. This has been a valuable asset to the department, insuring that the bikes are properly maintained, and quickly repaired when necessary. The officers on the bike unit use patrol cars equipped with a bike rack to transport the bikes to their assigned patrol area. This allows for rapid deployment if the officer is needed in another area.