By Lex Talamo, Shreveport Times, Feb. 2, 2018
The new 2018 Police Trek bikes come equipped with special lights that flash red, white and blue. (Photo: Lex Talamo/The Times)
The Shreveport Police department unveiled 15 new, specially equipped bicycles Friday that community liaison officers will use during community patrols.
Police Chief Alan Crump thanked several local agencies that helped the city acquire the bikes, which cost $23,674.
"Our partnerships with local businesses and the community have made this possible, and we are so grateful," Crump said.
Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler said at the ceremony that the bikes will help officers in "grassroot community efforts, assisting in quality of life calls and also will allow the city and the police department to tackle the task of reducing "Part 1" crimes — violent crimes that include robberies and vehicle thefts, according to FBI guidelines.
"When we can see the unified efforts of the community coming together and working together to provide the resources necessary to improve the lives of our citizens, it is a great day in Shreveport," Tyler said.
Among the 15 new bikes are:
- Six small police bikes, valued at $8,640.
- Four medium police bikes, valued at $5,760.
- Five large police bikes, valued at $7,200.
The bikes come equipped with a 128-decibel, two-toned, handlebar mounted siren that is USB rechargeable. They also come with special lights.
The front light is a Serfas 600-lumen law enforcement model, with three front-facing lights including a white main light with blue and red signaling lights on each side. The back light is a Serfas Guardian 100-lumen light with an audible low battery alert.
A police news release said the bikes will be used by officers with the Community Oriented Policing Bureau, who will use the bikes as an "enforcement tool" and to make officers "more approachable by the public we serve."
Crump said community-oriented policing, a nationwide law enforcement strategy that focuses on officers building relationships with the communities they serve, is the "hallmark of what policing can be."
He said the bikes will "make a great impact" in those efforts.
"We have seen that already at events like the state fair. Especially when the sun goes down, those officers can look like anyone else on a bicycle," Crump said. "They can come right up to burglars or suspicious activity."
Cpl. Angie Willhite, the police department spokesman, said bicycles allow increased "nimbleness" in maneuvering and pursuing suspects in more "covert" ways than police vehicles.
Willhite said the bikes have been particularly helpful in situations where officers have arrested vehicle burglary suspects.
"We've caught a lot of burglars on bikes," she said. "It's actually my favorite way to patrol. I would rather be on a bike than in a vehicle."
District B councilman Jeff Everson said he's heard positive feedback from constituents about bicycle patrols and the increased visibility and maneuverability for officers the bikes provide.
"The presence of bike patrol has had tremendous support from my constituents," Everson said.
Crump presented "Chief's Appreciation Award" certificates to the six organizations that contributed to making the new bikes a reality for the department. [Shreveport Police Chief Alan Crump present's a "Chief's]
Those agencies were the North Shreveport Business Association, Willis Knighton Health System, First United Methodist Church, Southern Hills Business Association, Dandy Products and River City Cycling, according to a news release.
Representatives from those agencies focused recognition back on the police department and officers' efforts to keep the community safe.
"These guys work so hard, so anything we can do to support them we will do, especially if it involved needs that were not budgeted," said Debbie Martin of the North Shreveport Business Association.