By Taren Reed, WOLX, Monday, February 26th 2018,
Photo: Ten Pascagoula Police Department officers will transition to bike patrol (photo credit: City of Pascagoula Facebook page)
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -
Ten police officers in Pascagoula are trading in their usual four wheels for two.
You'll soon see officers on bicycles hit the streets. "It was pretty intense. You think you know how to ride a bike but you don't," said Officer Michael Chabut.
Chabut has been with the department for three years. He's ready to protect his community on two wheels.
"They teach you how to ride in places you'd never think you'd ride before. It's not BMX. It's not riding on the beach," he said of the training.
The officers underwent an intense 40-hour program to qualify to ride these bikes.
Captain Doug Adams said the fleet cost the city about $10,000. That covers the bikes, training and uniforms. "It gets them out of the car. It gives them a chance to interact with folks on a little more personal basis," he said.
The officers will start off covering special events. Captain Adams added, "We'll be able to use them in areas where we have some issues, hot spot issues."
The department will take officers already on the payroll and transition them. "Down along the beach area, the bike path, the parks that we have. That will be some of the areas that you'll see them in," said Captain Adams.
Officer Chabut added, "They're mountain bikes. They're made for the kind of work we do and the riding we put them through. Can't ride a regular cruiser or beach cruiser or 10 speed. They won't stand up to it."
The department is awaiting uniforms for the officers. The bikes will now head to Hattiesburg for maintenance.
If all goes as planned, the officers will set out to patrol on bicycles by this time next month.
Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved.