The Novelty Never Wears Off

Despite the fact that the IPMBA conference has long attracted participants from around the globe, the novelty of hosting guests from other countries never seems to wear off.  Perhaps it is the pleasure of introducing someone from another culture to some of the charms and peculiarities of the United States.  Even if the same person returns year after year, there is always something regionally specific to discover and share.

The 16th Annual IPMBA Conference attracted participants from 34 states and six countries, not counting the United States.  Australia was once again represented by Adam Bernhardt, who was honored to have been selected to help teach the Police Cyclist Course as part of an international cadre headed by Canadian Chris Whaley.  Chris was joined by fellow “Ontarians” Liz Bouchard (University of Guelph Police), Scott Elliott (Niagara Regional Police), and Tracy Swystun (Windsor Police).  Liz, Scott, and Tracy all successfully completed the IPMBA Instructor Course, more than doubling the number of certified IPMBA Instructors in Ontario!  The province of Quebec was represented by repeat visitor George Martin of Listuauj Police.

London Ambulance Service dominated the UK section, with Keith Plummer and Gerard Robinson in the Instructor Course being joined by Tim Daniels, Lee Emmett, and Tom Lynch for the conference.  Tim Larrad was the sole police representative, becoming the first IPMBA Instructor for the West Mercia Police.  It would have been nice if they had left the fine British weather at home!  Or was it the Irish who brought it with them…

IPMBA was pleased to welcome the first participants from the Emerald Isle – Joe Dunleavy and Morgan Oconnor, both with An Garda Siochana and based in Dublin.  Having been certified as IPMBA Instructors, they will be delivering training to the Garda’s 300+ bike officers.

Mike Satlow again came all the way from Israel to attend the Maintenance Officers Course, offer his Bikes Against Terror workshop, and assist with other sessions.  And finally, the country with more bikes than people sent an excellent representative in Tommy Hamelink from the Hague Police in the Netherlands.  Tommy conducted several well-received workshops on using the bike for crowd control and tactics.

At press time, IPMBA representatives were busily preparing to attend the fourth annual 999 Emergency Services Cycling seminar, to be hosted by the Hampshire Constabulary and held in Southampton, England.  An IPMBA Instructor Course will be held just prior to the event, and several attendees from the Netherlands are expected in the class.

Through its increasing presence around the globe, IPMBA continues to strive to meet its goals of promoting the use of bikes for public safety, providing resources and networking opportunities, and offering the best, most complete training for public safety cyclists.

(c) 2006 IPMBA.  This article appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of IPMBA News. 

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