By Molly Hurley | KFYR TV, June 7, 2018
MINOT, N.D. - Be prepared for the street! That's what Minot Police Officers have been training for this week.
The Minot Police Department will send officers out to patrol this summer in more ways than one.
"People don't really expect to see cops on bicycles, so it's just a different way to get out there and make contact with people," said Minot Police Officer Alex Nelson.
The International Police Mountain Bike Association offers certification and training to public safety agencies around the world, including Minot's finest.
"It's a 32-hour course so we have four days for the 32 hours and then we are also adding on four hours of firearm on the fifth day, which gives these guys some firearm training as well, on the bike and with the bike gear on," said IPMBA instructor Nick Schultz.
The course challenges these officers to work to their greatest potential. As the difficulty increases, so does the weight.
"When you put these vests on, the belt and the gun it weighs you down. It brings your center of gravity up real high so its really hard to keep balance," said Nelson.
It's a bad idea to flee from the police, whether they're driving a squad car or riding a bike.
"Obviously cars are much faster than bicycles, but we can always put out the location and where that car is going and what it looks like to patrol and then patrol can find them down the line" said Nelson.
As the course reaches it's final days, Schultz says these officers are ready to take all they've learned on to the streets of the Magic City.
"These guys have been awesome. They're definitely an advanced group. They've gotten through this stuff fairly quickly, leaving us a lot of extra time to do some fun things and some extra stuff that you don't typically get to do with the regular course when you have somebody that might be struggling or something, so it's been a good week for us" said Schultz.
Taking a new approach to keeping the community safe.
The course will wrap up June 8. Officers will patrol on bikes between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. and also attend Minot events around town.