2000 IPMBA Bike Operations Survey

The 2000 International Police Mountain Bike Association's Police Mountain Bike Survey was distributed to bike officers from around the country through three primary channels: the 10th Annual IPMBA Conference in Tucson, Arizona; the IPMBA listserve; and Police Cyclist courses held throughout the state of Michigan. 306 surveys were returned and tallied, with the following results.

On duty, what combination of bike and patrol car do you take?
Patrol car and bicycle: 55%
Bicycle only: 35%
Other: 5%

If you take both a patrol car and a bike, which racking system do you use?
Trunk rack: 48%
Trailer hitch and bike rack: 40%
Other: 12% (back of truck; back of seat of patrol car; trunk)

Have you or anyone from your department experienced any intentional damage or theft of your bike or equipment?
No: 79%
Yes: 21% (bikes were stolen while unattended; tires were flattened; quick releases opened; lights and rack bags stolen off bikes; computers stolen; brakes released, helmets stolen while on the bike; sunglasses stolen; bike repair stands stolen)

Does your department provide bike patrol-specific firearms training?
No: 74%
Yes: 26%

Does your department provide bike specific defensive tactics training?
No: 84%
Yes: 16%

Does your bike patrol have an "off-season" (i.e.: winter, little or no riding)?
No: 40%
Yes: 60% (on that off-season the top three activities to stay in shape were to jog/run, weights, and bike skills/stationary bike)

Which injuries have you incurred during bike patrol training?
None: 33%
Scrapes & Bruises: 46%
Sprains, strains, muscle tears: 15%
Dislocations, fractures, other: 6%

Did the training injury result in time lost from work?
Yes: 64% lost five or fewer days; length of time ranged from one day to 11 months

Have you ever been injured (other than assaulted) while on bike patrol duty?
No: 80%
Yes: 20% (included: 49% minor crashes; 14% hit by a car; 37% miscellaneous injuries, including water on the knee, broken patella, broken arm, injured rotator cuff)

Did the bike duty injury result in time lost from work?
No: 57%
Yes: 42% (75% lost less than one week; length of time ranged from 1 day to 6 months)

Have you experienced a foot injury due to improper footwear?
No: 96%
Yes: 4%

Have you ever unintentionally injured someone else while on bike patrol?
No: 100%

Are you familiar with any bike officers who died during bike training or while on bike patrol duty?
No: 99%
Yes: 1%

Are you aware of any incidents in which a bike officer was involved in a lethal force incident?
No: 91%
Yes: 9%

Is there a noticeable difference in morale between bike officers and road patrol officers in your department?
No: 44%
Yes: 38% (75% reported that bike officers' morale was better. Descriptions of bike officers included: happier, more proud, more positive, more committed, more enthusiastic, better attitudes, more job satisfaction, more motivated, more willing to train, more outgoing, greater community awareness. 25% reported resentment by road patrol officers toward bike officers.)

Has your bike patrol program experienced any form of stagnation or disinterest?
No: 62%
Yes: 38% (administration no longer supports bike patrol; manpower shortages; budget crunches; lack of interest in riding among bike officers)

Does your department keep statistics that compare bike patrol activity to road patrol such as arrest, tickets or enforcement?
No: 75%
Yes: 25%

Has your bike patrol experienced any issues or situations unique to your area?
Yes: winter riding, seasonal Christmas riding in shopping areas, hazard pay, pre-screening, patrolling dorm areas, state troopers on bikes, enforcing hunting and fishing law on bikes, working organized protests such as KKK rally, crowd control, undercover and plainclothes surveillance.

(c) 2001 IPMBA.  This article appeared in the Spring 2001 issue of IPMBA News. 

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