By Ben Davis, Michigan City News –Dispatch, September 25, 2017
Photo by Ben Davis. Officers with the Michigan City Police Department hit the streets on their new bicycles, which will be used to help patrol the city.
MICHIGAN CITY IN – The Michigan City Police Department has a new tool at their disposal to help keep Michigan City streets safe: Bicycles.
Through the purchase of four Trek bicycles, the department is adding regular bicycle patrols to help them be more effective in fighting crime within Michigan City.
“We have always wanted to use bikes for patrols,” said Michigan City Police Sergeant Greg Jesse. “We got a grant through the Duneland Health Council, and we were able to run with it.”
According to Jesse, the bicycles are fully equipped with lights and sirens. Jesse also added there are 11 police officers who currently use the bicycles, with three being on day shift, five on afternoon shift and three more using the bicycles on midnights.
“They allow us to have more personable interactions as opposed to a car,” Jesse said.
One of the officers using the bicycles is Corporal Greg Miller. Miller asserted that the bicycles have added a unique and positive effect to the way the police force does its job within Michigan City.
“Never, in as long as I have been here, have I seen a response like I have on a bike,” he said. “It's something people aren't used to seeing, and they love it.”
The grant from the Duneland Health Council, which according to Jesse paid for approximately 90 percent of the total cost of the bicycles, was approved by the Common Council. The bicycles were supplied by Bike Stop in Michigan City.
“Bike Stop has been great with us in trying to keep this going,” he said. “We are going to try to get as many people into riding as we can.”
Jesse also asserted that the bicycles give officers more freedom of movement within their jobs.
“If somebody wants to talk to you, it's so much easier,” Jesse said. “You don't have all that steel and metal around you, things that can prevent you from having a conversation.”
Jesse also added that the bicycles can be transported on patrol vehicles by a hitch. The officers can then park the vehicle and carry on their patrols on the bicycles. If something happens where the officer needs to use the vehicle again, the bicycle gets hitched back up and away the officer goes.
“It makes us more mobile,” he said. “We can cut through alleys, take sidewalks and take different routes as opposed to staying on the road with a car.”
Jesse also asserted the bicycles have received a positive reaction from the community.
“As far as with the community, just being out riding around, they absolutely love it,” he said. “There are no barriers.”