By: Brea Douglas, Ozarks First.com, August 16, 2017
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.--The Springfield Police Department is rolling out a new way to patrol the city's streets. On Wednesday, the bureau launched E Bikes.
The Springfield Police bikes are geared for more than just speed.
"We want them to interact with the community a little bit better," says Sgt. Nelson Kibby.
Sergeant Nelson Kibby believes equipping police with battery operated bikes is a start.
Officers Walker and Laughlin are putting them to the test.
"The amount of effort which you have to input for these bicycles almost effortless," says one of the officers.
The reason is the battery
"That battery will go, they told me about 60 to 70 miles on one battery charge," says Sgt. Nelson.
The Downtown Springfield Community Improvement District purchased and equipped two E Bikes for $5,000 a piece for the police department. The district funded the bikes as a way for police to have more interactions with the public.
"We let them take them out on a demo," says Bryant Johnson of A and B Cycle.
A and B Cycle outfitted the police bikes. Employee Bryant Johnson says its features assist in quick police responses.
"If they are just kind of cruising around town and they need to pursue somebody they can turn up the assistance level and it will help them reach that person and not be exhausted whenever they have to apprehend them," says Bryant.
"I'm not working hard at all in order to get 11 miles per hour now to get around the square," says one of the officers.
"Getting off being able to fight somebody, somebody's resisting arrest, you have so much more energy on these bikes," says Bryant.
The department has never used E Bikes before so they tell me they will be figuring them out as they go along.