By Ryan Bawek, inMaricopa.com, August 8, 2014 - 11:38 am
Photo: City council candidate Rich Vitiello poses with Mayor Christian Price and MPD officers after donating two police bikes at city council meeting. Submitted photo
City Council candidate and long-time cycling industry executive Rich Vitiello presented two new fully assembled and equipped Nevada 1.5 mountain bicycles to the Maricopa Police Department at a City Council meeting Tuesday.
The bikes were donated in partnership with Fuji Bicycles and Domenic’s Two Wheelers, a bicyle shop located in Tempe.
Fuji Bicycles donated the bikes while Domenic’s donated the lights, kickstands and other parts.
“We are appreciative of Mr. Vitiello’s donation of the two bicycles,” MPD spokesman Ricky Alvarado said. “This just shows that members of the community who attend the monthly coffee with the chief meeting and have the ability to interact with members of the police department, understand the amount of resources needed to provide the highest level of customer service within the city.”
Vitiello and his campaign staff attended the Maricopa Police Department Coffee with the Chief event on July 12, where the chief and officers presented information on bicycle patrols and the need for more resources, support and equipment.
These bicycle patrols are part of the community-based policing model that allows certain areas to be targeted to deter crime without the attention of a black and white patrol car.
Bicycle patrols allow officers to access areas such as parks, parking lots and other areas that patrol cars cannot reach.
“I’m just looking to make sure the community is safe,” Vitiello said. “The more patrol officers we have on bikes the better off we are in protecting the community. It’s about being proactive, not reactive.”
Vitiello said the department mentioned in their Coffee with the Chief event that they had 16 trained to be on bike patrol but only four bikes.
“I’m working on getting more bikes donated to the department as well,” Vitiello said.