by Jolanie Martinez, KGBT News 4, Valley Central, January 26, 2018
With increased staffing, the UTRGV Police Department will now have officers patrolling on bikes on both the Edinburg and Brownsville campuses.
UTRGV police officer and certified bike training instructor, Joe Hernandez, says there are several perks to using a bike.
“It provides such a great tool to be able to go throughout campus without having to park a vehicle and find parking and get to where you want to get to quickly,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez also said that the bikes help build relationships with students and staff versus using a vehicle.
"Being in a patrol unit, we're off to the side and there's not really a whole lot of positive contact with the public, but being on the bike we actually blend in with the community,” said Hernandez.
To patrol on bikes, officers are required to take a 40-hour bike training course where they learn how to properly get on and off a bike and riding in a very slow pace.
Students, on the other hand, have mixed emotions about officers being able to blend in with the crowd.
"I feel like that's a good idea, but it would also change the mood of it because people would feel kind of on alert," said UTRGV junior Brissa Alva. “Like if they're around you, then you would feel kind of worried that what you're doing is something that's wrong."
"I think at first people will not approach them, but as they spend more time in here people will start getting more comfortable around them,” said UTRGV Sophomore, Juan Lopez.
The next bike training sessions will be in April and May.