Photo: John McLeod, owner of Classic Instruments (left) presents a check for $2,253 to Boyne City Police Chief Jeff Gaither to be used to purchase equipment for the department's bicycle patrol.
By Petosky News (Michigan); Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2014 7:32 am
BOYNE CITY— John McLeod, owner of Classic Instruments (and former Boyne City Police officer) recently presented a check for $2,253 to Boyne City Police Chief Jeff Gaither.
The money was raised during Classic Instruments’ National Street Rod Association Appreciation Day car show on Saturday. A raffle took place during the event with the proceeds going to the Boyne City Police Department’s bike patrol program. Gaither said in a news release that the event raised approximately $2,700 in the previous two years. He said the money has been used to purchase new patrol bikes and properly train two officers.
He said the money from this year’s event will be used to purchase another bike and send one more officer to the week-long training, as well as upgrade some of the older bikes.
"John is a tremendous supporter of the community and the money he and his team have raised for our bike patrol program will allow us to better serve Boyne City," Gaither said in the release.
Gaither went on to note that the bicycles are valuable to the department because they allow police officers to maneuver through crowds during our busy downtown events and they are able to respond to complaints in the downtown area quickly. "The officers are much more approachable and are often seen talking to young children that wouldn’t be able to make contact with the officers in patrol cars. It’s a conversation starter, some people want to look at the bikes or see the emergency lights and the officer can then interact with them," he said.
Gaither also pointed out that the officers often use the bikes after dark patrolling the neighborhoods and even Avalanche Park. He said officers on bikes can observe things while not being recognized which gives them an advantage in some situations.