By Lex Talamo, Shreveport Times, Jan. 30, 2018
The Shreveport Police Department recently received good news — in the form of a donation of 15 new specially equipped bicycles to help officers with community policing.
The city council passed a resolution in late January authorizing Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler to accept an in-kind donation from the North Shreveport Business Association Foundation and the Willis Knighton Health System.
The donation was to pay for the 2018 Trek police bikes — valued at $1,578 per bike, or $23,674 in all.
"If you happen to have any extra of those bikes, I could use one," quipped Councilman Oliver Jenkins before voting for the resolution.
Councilman Jeff Everson also joked that the bikes "cost more than my car" before he thanked the police department for its efforts to keep the public safe.
The resolution detailed that the police department's Community Oriented Policing Bureau uses bikes as an "enforcement tool" and to make officers "more approachable by the public we serve."
"Community-oriented policing" is a nationally used term for a policing strategy that focuses on building relationships with members of communities in which officers patrol.
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.
Six organizations contributed to making the new bikes a reality for the department: 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.
"We are pleased to support the Shreveport Police Department and appreciate all you do for our community," wrote Debbie Martin, president of the North Shreveport Business Association, in an October 2017 letter to Deputy Police Chief Bill Goodin.
The bikes were ordered in July 2017 and shipped in August, according to documents included with the city council resolution.
The police department had scheduled an "unveiling" ceremony of the bikes for 2 p.m. Tuesday, but had to postpone the event. The unveiling will be rescheduled, said Cpl. Angie Willhite, the department spokeswoman.