Police hope bike training will make them more accessible
LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Police officers trained on bicycles to improve accessibility with the community.
Safety needs in the summer intensified with more recreational activities like hiking and parades leading up to the move.
The La Crosse Police Department can issue the same bicycle tickets as in a police car. However, on bikes they can squeeze through crowds more easily. They trained with cones on the Oktoberfest grounds on Tuesday to stop on a dime.
Lt. Phil Martins said bike patrols help keep people safe during peaceful protests.
“We use bicycles a lot,” said Lt. Martin. “Bikes are great for getting in front of crowds and blocking traffic so pedestrians aren’t in danger. [and we can] stop this traffic. “
Cone training builds their confidence and facilitates slow, controlled movements so they can focus on meeting people in a less hostile format.
“The first thing we try to do as a police officer is to widen that gap between the police department and the community as a whole,” said Dominick Jacobs, neighborhood resource manager. “So every time they can see me there they see my face other than just driving in a patrol car, it’s huge.”
Jacobs said their police gear made it difficult to stop and leave safely.
The workout lasts 32 hours in total and they will end with a trail workout on Grandad Bluff on Thursday.
Martin also said police cycling work is more environmentally friendly and cheaper than using police cars.