By Vi NguyenPublished: July 4, 2017, 11:23 pm
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spent this year’s Fourth of July going on bike patrols across the city from downtown to the east side.
Depending on the weather and the staffing, officers will go on bike patrols in their district. 24-Hour News 8 tagged along with two officers near the area of 10th Street and Wallace Avenue this holiday.
On this hot summer day, officer Matthew Fortney and his partner Michael Rodriguez got on their bikes to patrol the city’s east side.
“It’s a great way to interact with the community in a little more personal way,” said Officer Matthew Fortney, IMPD.
Officers Fortney and Rodriguez went through the academy together and joined the department about three years ago.
“I like helping people, I like taking the 911 calls, and working with my partners working for a team,” said Fortney. “I love Indianapolis.”
Officer Fortney said the reaction is different from people in the community when they’re out patrolling on their bikes.
“Surprisingly they’re very friendly to us on the bikes its very different being in a police car,” he explained.
Officer Rodriguez feels the same way about bike patrols.
“When you get on the bicycle, the community likes you a lot more,” said Rodriguez. “They’re waving at you, they’re loving that you’re around.”
Both officers have seen a lot during their time in the east district, from patrolling the streets to responding to calls.
“We get a little bit of everything working the east middle shift; I mean you see a variety of different runs,” said Rodriguez.
They also spent a lot of time away from their families working holidays, like the Fourth of July.
“You know we’re a 24/7 operation but I knew that signing up,” said officer Fortney. “My dad was a police officer, and he missed a lot of holidays with us growing up so I knew what I was getting myself into.”
But for the officers, it doesn’t feel like work.
“I enjoy what I do. I love coming to work every single day. I know I’m doing it for a good cause, and I’m just out here for the community,” said Rodriguez.
They said it’s just another day to make sure everyone is safe and protected in the community.
“You know you sworn and took the oath that you will serve and protect the community and come out here and give forth hand to everything that comes out here on the streets and you go with it,” said Rodriguez.
Police said officers will be back out on bike patrols Wednesday in the east district. But again, that’s all depending on the weather and staffing.