Police gain advantage in race against crime CENTRAL COUNTY -- Arnold * Broadneck * Severna Park * Crownsville * Millersville

December 24, 1992|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff writer

Purse snatchers, flashers and other criminal types prowling the B&A Bike Trail, beware -- you'll be seeing the men in blue as you've never saw them before.

Law breakers may have caught a glimpse of county police trying to catch up to them in cars, motorcycles and even bicycles.

But now they will be using something smaller, more sleek and compact when it comes to racing down those dark and narrow pathways along the nine-mile trail -- a moped, not as big and bulky as a marked police cruiser and not quite as fast as a motorcycle.

A small, motorized bicycle capable of about 30 mph doesn't sound too powerful.

High speed isn't crucial to the officers, however, when those being chased are huffing and puffing after only a few steps.

"It will give the guys better mobility," Eastern District Lt. William Tankersley said. "The officers will have their radios, and they can coordinate with the officers on the street if they get into a situation where they are chasing a suspect."

Although officers from Eastern District began using the mopeds Dec. 16, they have not caught any felons.

"In the summer, we will be using these a lot more than we are now," Lieutenant Tankersley said. "The weather now is not the best, but in the warmer months, they will be of more use and there will be more people on the trail."

Police officials bought the bikes at Pete's Cycle in Severna Park for about $1,400, he said. Using the mopeds is part of Chief fTC Robert Russell's community-oriented policing program.

"It creates a situation where the officers are out of their car and meeting people," Lieutenant Tankersley said. "It's good public relations with kids, too."

The bikes are stored in the trail's ranger station at West Earleigh Heights Road, in the center of the portion of the trail running through the Eastern District.

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