...thank you all for such an enjoyable experience in the USA...without exception you made me feel at home and part of your organisation which I feel really proud to be a part of...to walk up and receive an instructors certificate along with my colleagues from England was an experience that I won't forget. You guys have created such a great organisation which is a cut above anything else...
—Eddie Stevens, Metropolitan Police
...thanks for the warm welcome you gave us all from the UK. I have made good friends & am trying to save up now for next year...IPMBA & Charleston Police were excellent & went out of their way to assist me with anything whilst in the USA, you could not ask for better hosts. There were a lot of Police & EMS personnel at the conference which made me proud to be a member of IPMBA...
—Andy Burnham, Hampshire Constabulary
...a big thank you on my part for a fantastic, very well organised conference and Instructors course. It will sit at the front of my memory banks for a long time to come (or at least until San Antonio). The amount of effort on the part of IPMBA and the local PD was evident in the professionalism that showed in everything. It was a big learning curve for the UK officers and an example of how things should be done...
—Mark Cockram, City of London Police
No faint praise from a few of our British guests. IPMBA and the Charleston Police Department were proud to play host to our largest contingent of international visitors yet!
Public safety cycling seems to be on the rise around the world. Hardly a week goes by without a request being received in the IPMBA office from someplace beyond the US borders. Some of the agencies already have bike teams; others have them under consideration. All are eager to receive training and to learn how their counterparts around the world operate.
Despite the time, distance, and expense of international travel, a group of dedicated individuals undertook the arduous task of crossing the U.S. borders to attend the 13th Annual IPMBA Conference. They suffered delays, missed flights, slept in airports, and rarely arrived in a destination at the same time as their luggage. But by all accounts, the IPMBA conference was worth it.
IPMBA is proud to have welcomed 14 public safety cyclists from four countries to the conference. Representing Canada were Veronica Amodeo of the University of Toronto in the Police Cyclist Course; Kim Senior, also of the University of Toronto, in the Maintenance Course; Louise LaFleur of the Ottawa Police Service in the Police Cyclist Advanced Course; and Chris Whaley of the Ontario Provincial Police in the Instructor Course.
Michael Satlow of the Jerusalem District Police Force in Israel enrolled in the Police Cyclist Course. The EMS Cyclist Course was host to Tom Lynch and Paul Davies of the London Ambulance Service. And the Instructor Course graduated one “Aussie” – Mick Shaw of the Northern Territory Police – and five “Brits” – Andy Burnham of Hampshire Constabulary, Mark Cockram of City-of-London Police, and Jon Walters, David Parfitt, and Eddie Stevens, all from London’s Metropolitan Police Force. Inspector Anthony Moore of the Met also attended the conference.
At press time, IPMBA representatives were busily preparing to attend the York Rally, the largest gathering of cyclists in the UK, in York, England. Members of at least 20 UK police forces and five ambulance services will be present, and a series of informational talks about public safety cycling are planned. President T.J. Richardson will speak about IPMBA and the importance of training. The event will also include a skills competition for police and EMS cyclists.
This is just the beginning. Who knows where the IPMBA conference will be held in 10 years...London, perhaps?