By Mark D. Wilson, Austin American-Statesman, February 16, 2018
Photo: APD show off their new Protective gear for their bike officers during a news conference in downtown Austin on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Austin police bike officers on Friday showed off new safety equipment meant to protect officers from falls and make policing large crowds safer.
Parsley Energy, Inc., an independent oil and gas company based in Austin, paid to outfit all 50 bike patrol officers with new helmets with a removable full-face attachment, along with knee, shin and elbow pads.
The company did not say what the cost of the new equipment was.
Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said the department’s bike officers handle crowd control for downtown events, including demonstrations and marches. Those situations sometimes put officers in large crowds where it can be easier to maneuver on bikes.
Those duties also can expose the bike unit to vehicular traffic.
“To do this with these bicycle officers and to have this safety equipment is fantastic,” Manley said.