Bicycle patrols prove worth, roll into other police districts Citywide use scheduled by fall

July 05, 1993|By Roger Twigg | Roger Twigg,Staff Writer

Citing the success of bicycle patrols in the Northern District, the Baltimore Police Department today expanded the program to the Central and Northeastern Districts.

Tomorrow, the department will expand bicycle patrols to the Northwestern District.

By fall, each of Baltimore's nine police districts will have a contingent of Bicycle Patrol officers, according to a spokesman.

Since October 1992, when bicycle patrols were established in the Northern District, officers assigned to the unit have handled 1,013 citizen complaints and 172 calls for service, and have made 29 arrests, Police Commissioner Edward V. Woods said.

"The success of bicycle patrols in the Northern District made the decision to expand bicycle patrols a simple one," the commissioner said.

Mr. Woods said each of the officers assigned to the bicycle patrols logs more than 1,000 miles a month.

In the Northern District, patrol teams of two officers ride rugged mountain bicycles that enable them to pursue suspects in tight spots and in tough terrain where patrol cars can't go.

In the expanded program, there will be three bicycle patrols in each district.

For the Northern District officers, the city bought 21-speed mountain bicycles that cost $878 each. Twenty-six mountain bicycles are on order.

Agent Doug Price, a police spokesman, said the bicycles make the officers as agile as officers on horseback. "The only difference is you don't have to feed them [the bicycles]," he added.

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