Allentown police receive new crime-fighting tools: bikes

Author: Rosa Duarte , Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com Published: Jul 10 2014 10:11:57 PM EDT, Lehigh Valley News  

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Allentown Police Department got a much needed contribution. It's a gift officers say not only helps fight crime but makes them more approachable.

Representatives of the Mountainville Crime Watch presented an outfitted police bicycle to the Allentown Police Department Thursday.
Chief Joel Fitzgerald says it's great to see the community working with the police department to make Allentown a safer place to live. “It's just a testament to the extent that the citizens here in Allentown will go to make sure we're able to do our jobs to the utmost. Allentown's a really family oriented place. And they've embraced us, and we've embraced them,” he said.

In the meantime, patrolmen Scott Magill and Lenny Fitzinger say the bikes make them more accessible to the community. “We're a lot more approachable, we get stopped constantly block to block to block,” said Magill. “We also get to meet a lot of great people, residents in the area, business owners...and we're happy to be able to have those relationships,” said Fitzinger.

Just shy of $1,500, Magill adds, the gift is a much needed update to an aging fleet of bikes. “A lot of the bikes we have now are reaching 15 years old so they're getting outdated in technology and wear and tear. These bikes aren't cheap but they're a huge asset to the police department,” he said.

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