ROCKY RIVER, OH (WOIO) - The
is about to become the newest community to put a Bike Patrol Unit on the streets this spring.
The goal of the new unit is to give officers more vantage points than just behind the wheel of a police cruiser.
"You can't see things, hear things, you're moving quickly. To slow things down and get on a bike you can have better interactions with people," said Sgt. George Lichman who is heading up the program.
A total of five officers will use four brand new bikes to be more visible and more community friendly at parks, special events and concerts, and in neighborhoods which would further the department's community policing push.
"In order to do that you have to get to know people who live and work in this city. You have to get to know the neighborhoods more than just the street names. And the bike will be a good way to do that," said Lichman.
Rocky River has talked about wheeling out a bike unit for about 15 years but different obstacles kept getting in the way, like money.
The new bikes will be outfitted with the special equipment costing about $10,000, all of it donated and spent locally at Century Cycles.
"With the financial problems that our city, and most across northeast Ohio, have gone through over the past four years it is a difficult time to do anything other than bare bones minimum for police agencies so we're very fortunate," said Lichman.
Even the special training for officers will be free when they team up with the Lakewood Police Department this spring.
Officers hope to be out on the streets by May 4th when they start up their "Bike To School Challenge."