by Nadia Galindo
Posted: 03.24.2014 at 7:32 PM
When you think of two-wheeler patrols you typically think of large urban cities.
Monday police officers are back in the classroom learning to safely do something they probably learned when they were seven, how to ride a bike.
"After training they will be better prepared for the different obstacles and different terrain these officers will be riding on," San Antonio police officer Steven Bazany said.
It's the first time since the mid-90s that the Rio Grande City Police Department will have a two-wheel patrol.
Officer Bazany is heading this training session he said this typically urban tactic will be beneficial for this mostly rural community.
"When you're in a car you’re mostly in the streets and in the alleys but you don't get into the backyards and behind certain areas and in the deep brush but with a bike you can," Officer Bazany said.
Getting into those areas critical for officers who deal with illegal crossing daily especially on streets that lie yards from the Rio Grande.
Police Chief Dutch Piper said using bikes during pursuits in the brush is easier for officers than driving a patrol car.
He said patrol cars are often damaged during pursuits in the brush, but repairing a bicycle is costs significantly less.
"We are getting closer to the citizens of our community and be able to reach out to them on one on one basis," Chief Piper said.
The program will also target illegal handicapped parking and other urban problems the city is now encountering as population booms.
"You can see more smell more, it's just a lot better way to patrol," Officer Bazany said.
The department spent $55,000 to purchase five bicycles and two motorcycles all purchased with money earned from the sale of forfeiture property.
If all goes well Chief Piper said residents can expect more officers will be hitting the streets on bikes.
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXTn-CYgSuI