By: Brian Hill, WJHG News Channel 7, August 15, 2014
MARIANNA FL-- The next time you see Marianna police officers riding around town, they may not be in their police cars.
Instead, you may find them on two wheels patrolling around town
They say the biggest reasons why getting these bikes is important has to do with better community involvement and interaction.
Earlier Friday Marianna police officer Steven Vassallo was taking the new Trek mountain bike that he, and two other officers, recently received... off the back of his patrol car.
"I think it'll be a really good tool as far as at night, getting to check businesses, be more interactive with people walking out on streets late at night," said Vasallo.
The bikes cost about a thousand dollars, and Vasallo says the bikes will eventually have actual police lights installed.
"From a building check standpoint, you know, at night they could have the opportunity to get by and check doors a little closer, look at the things a little closer,” said Marianna Police Chief Hayes Baggett. “They can hear and see more things from the bicycle then they would from the automobile."
Not only will having the bikes benefit the City of Marianna, Chief Baggett says it may also help the department save money.
"Every mile he's pedaling that bicycle he's not burning a gallon of gasoline or whatever. You know, any dollar saved off fuel is a taxpayers dollar saved, and you know if nothing else it could encourage some physical fitness activities," explained Baggett.
Chief Baggett says the idea came up last year, and the feedback so far?
"So far, had all positive comments from the citizenry around town. I hope the citizens appreciate our efforts, and I hope it works out well."
And if the bikes do work out, Chief Baggett says they'll likely purchase more of them.
The officers must take part in a training course before they can hit the streets with the new bikes.