Is new bike patrol putting officers in a position to regularly violate department rules on chasing suspects?

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Dirt bikes have become a menace in some parks in Cleveland, at one local park a child was struck by a biker trying to do tricks.

He went out of control and hit the boy.

Cleveland's new dirt bike patrol consists of three officers, a dirt bike and three BMW 650 motorcycles equipped for off road.

"It is a safer mode because it is a motorcycle as opposed to a 2,000 pound car," Traffic Commissioner James Muhic said.

"Is this the way to handle that.  No, absolutely not," CPPA President Steven Loomis said.

He points out that bike unit officers giving chase have no clear policy that allows them to chase which is in opposition to the overall department no chase policy

"They're verbal orders, there's nothing in writing, there's no police to fall back on, there's no guidelines," Loomis said.

The city is encouraging officers to pursue traffic violators, the dirt bikers, but not criminals like those who held up a Taco Bell on Lee Road where officers nearby were told not to chase.

"If the law abiding citizen pulls over he gets a ticket," Loomis said.

If a person runs and isn't chased there is no citation adding "where's the justice in that?"

During a ride along with our investigative unit, a dirt biker crashed into a Highway Patrol Car, and example of what can happen.

"That's the thrill of it for them is being chased by the cops maybe I get caught maybe I don't . Or maybe you're gonna hit a tree and break your neck or hit a citizen that's crossing the street," Loomis said.

The new motorcycles were paid for by money granted to the city by the Federal Government in support of last summer's Republican National Convention.

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