by Oliver Cachola
Deerfield (IL) Police Department
Deerfield Police Department bike patrol officers Davie and Lorenz are charged with the responsibility of patrolling the parks within Deerfield. Both officers have been instructed to interact with and be a visible presence for the approximately 18,000 residents of Deerfield, a village located approximately 30 miles north of Chicago.
In May 2016, Officers Davie and Lorenz were given the opportunity to fulfill their mission via a new mode of transportation: the Enabled Enterprises electric fat-tire mountain bike. While both electric and fat tire bikes have been making their way into public safety cycling circles, it is rare for the features to be combined into a single vehicle.
In early May 2016, the Deerfield Police Department started field testing the EE 750 electric fat tire mountain bike, which was acquired from Enabled Enterprises in Highland Park, Illinois. The CEO of Enabled Enterprises, Larry Spatz, graciously allowed the Deerfield Police Department to test the bike all summer.
The EE 750 arrived equipped with a 750-watt electric motor, powered by a 48V Lithium Ion battery. On a single charge, it routinely exceeded 30 miles of riding distance before needing to be recharged. The bike has three riding modes: manual, pedal assist, and automatic.
Bike patrol officers were instructed to ride the electric bike as they would a regular Trek police bike. There were no restrictions placed on their use of the electric bike. The EE 750 proved to be versatile, performing well during routine bike patrol operations as well at community gatherings to include 5K/10K running events, community service days, Fourth of July celebrations, and a law enforcement expo. Each bike patrol officer who tested the bike had nothing but positive feedback.
For a police department that prides itself in community service and community relations, the Deerfield Police Department found the electric bike to be invaluable. It enabled the bike patrol officers to interact with the community in ways not possible while riding in a squad. The electric bike not only held up well, but it also became a “talking piece” for bike patrol officers. Residents routinely approached the bike officers, inquiring about the bike and its unique look and features. People were fascinated by the technology and how it was being used by the Deerfield Police Department. In addition to facilitating increased community interaction, the electric bike enabled the officers to respond to emergency calls expeditiously and without being too physically taxed upon arriving on call.
As the Deerfield Police Department continued field testing the bike, Enabled Enterprises was provided frequent updates regarding its performance as well as requests for minor modifications.
Specifically, the officers requested a front fork with suspension as well as more user-friendly controls. CEO Spatz was very accommodating, and he encouraged any feedback, either positive or negative, to be forwarded to his company unfiltered.
After logging hundreds of miles with the test bike, the Deerfield Police Department purchased a similar bike from Enabled Enterprise. The modifications requested by the bike patrol officers were added without an upcharge. This bike was also put to the test throughout the fall of 2016. Like the test bike, it has held up very well, with no complaints from the bike patrol officers.
With spring of 2017 right around the corner, the bike patrol officers of Deerfield Police Department are already looking forward to the riding season.
Enabled Enterprises participates in the IPMBA Product Purchase Program, offering 25% off MSRP to IPMBA members. For information about the company, the bicycle, and other products and services, visit http://www.enabled.vet.
EE 750 Specifications
- Frame: Aluminum - 6061 Alloy
- Brake: Front/Rear Disc Brakes
- Motor: 750W Rear Brushless Hub Motor
- Light: Headlight, Rear Reflector
- Battery: 48V 11.6 Amp Lithium-ion
- Display: Intuitive Handlebar Control System
- Controller: 22 Amp
- Charger: 110V Included
- Sensor: PAS 1:1 Intelligent Pedal Assistant System
- Suspension: Shock Absorbing Front Fork
- Pedal Assist: Three Speed Settings
- Tires: Kenda 26” x 4” - Fat Tire
- Range Distance: Motor Only +/- 20 miles
- Range Distance: Pedal Assist +/- 50 miles
- Derailleur: 7 Speed Shimano
- Load Capacity: 265 lbs
Sgt. Oliver Cachola is a sergeant with the Deerfield (IL) Police Department. He has approximately 10 years of experience as a police officer and serves as the department’s bike patrol coordinator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) 2017 IPMBA. This review appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of IPMBA News.