By Ben Cathey | ABC 13, June 29, 2018
You might have seen them out on bicycles the last few weeks. We’re not talking about the neighborhood kids here. Instead, it's the special bike squads that police and patrol Toledo’s streets.
The reality is, there's no escaping the stifling heat, no matter how much water you drink. But both bicycle teams, one downtown and the other in a high-crime area, say it's worth the sweat, to become more approachable.
“This is only my second day out on the bikes,” Patrolman Ryan Tierney said.
Patrolman Tierney is getting the miles in, covering what TPD called a 'hot zone.' The violent spate of crime near Belmont and Nebraska has the bikes moving there.
“If you stay moving, typically you get a little bit of a breeze,” Patrolman Mike Tucker said.
That might help, but what about those Kevlar vests?
“Holds in the heat, especially the last two days,” Tierney said.
This isn't a joyride.
“Michael, you're in a very high drug area,” Tucker said to a man suspected of buying drugs.
We saw a serious wreck, a car being searched, even a gun taken off 14-year-old on Waite. These bikes get some serious mileage.
“But three or four days ago, we did 28 miles,” Tucker said.
On this ride, you won't just hear a helmet being snapped into place. We also head several pairs of handcuffs snapped on, as well.
“Typically we do have a little higher crime rate in the summer months,” Tierney said.
The bike unit visited this house yesterday, where they say suspected gang activity takes place inside.
“I'd say the heat has an effect on everybody,” Tierney said. “It makes them more agitated, more on edge.”
One goal of the bikes is to make the officers more visible and more approachable.
“The police car kind of cuts us off from the community,” Tierney said.
We saw that firsthand with the other squad, this duo patrolling the mud hens game.
“It switches things up. So a couple days you're in the car, couple days you're on the bikes,” Tucker said.