LAUREN BERG, The News Virginian, Thursday, May 8
In coming weeks, bikes will roll through the city as Waynesboro Police officers hop on the saddle to patrol the streets. Officers must complete three days of training to learn different techniques before they can begin patrolling the streets by pedal. On Wednesday, members of the department took to Ladd Elementary to work on some of that training.
“We like having folks out on bikes because it’s exposure we have to the public. We’re actually able to see a lot more as we go about our duties on bikes than we would from inside a police car,” said Waynesboro Police Sgt. Chuck Baugher.
“There are more opportunities to interact with the public, even if it’s not in an enforcement type role,” Baugher added. “Additionally, it offers more opportunities to accomplish our goal, which is crime prevention.”
After a selection process, qualified officers can go through three days of training to patrol on a bike. The training consists of both classroom instruction and field work, designed to teach officers basic skills, like balance and steering, and how to safely go down stairs or over a curb. The officers learn “how to take a fall [and] how to properly lessen their chance of injury,” Baugher said.
Waynesboro Police Officer Andrew Deshong leads the training for the police department and teaches officers how to stay safe on a bike. Using supplemental training from the police academy, Deshong designed a training plan for Waynesboro police.
“Officer Deshong has developed our training and he’s done an excellent job with it,” Baugher said. “He’s had some supplemental training through the academy for bike training and he’s used that knowledge to bring back her and train all of our officers that haven’t been to the academy yet for bike training.”