INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is adding more bikes.
IMPD recently purchased 20 new Trek bikes at about $1,100 apiece. In the past year, bike patrols in downtown Indianapolis have helped to reduce crime.
For instance, bike patrol officers made 700 arrests, wrote 900 traffic tickets, and 300 citations in 2014. Officers like the bikes because they are much smaller, quieter, and can go places that are not easily accessible to patrol cars.
“We can roll up on a crime in progress without the person even knowing we are there,” said Sgt. Jeffery King.
Some residents rushing around downtown during their lunch break believe the bike patrols make officers more accessible.
“I like the idea of them being more accessible, “said resident Deborah Williams.
Indianapolis had it’s first bike patrol team in the 1920s. Through the decades bike patrol phased out in the city. That’s until the early 90s when the department brought back bike patrols.
“You are mainly an ambassador for the city – you are talking to people, giving directions. It is community policing as opposed to taking runs,” said King.
The department has policy that officers not ride their bikes when the temperature is below 40 degrees. However, regardless of the weather, officers ride their bikes downtown if there are major events going on.
It seems that those that sign up for the mission don’t seem to mind.
“You are with people. You are not stuck in the car taking radio runs all the time,” said Officer Loren Eltzroth.