PULLMAN, Wash.–Washington State University police plan to have their first bicycle patrolman pedalling campus next week.
Sgt. Scott West says five police officers have been certified for the bike patrol, and plans call for at least one to be aboard the two-wheelers on each of the three daily shifts. More than one bicycle patrolman will be assigned for special days such as home football games. The department has two specially-equipped bicycles and hopes to add two more.
The program is being implemented by William Mercier, WSU public safety director, who came from the State University of New York at Cobleskill where a bicycle patrol was popular.
The purpose is to provide patrols to several areas of campus not accessible by regular motor patrol, says West. “The pedestrian corridors, pathways and areas adjacent to some residence halls and apartments can be better patrolled on bicycles than by vehicles or foot patrols. Officers also will be more visible and instill a better feeling of safety,” he said.
Uniforms for the bicycle patrol will be white polo shirts and dark blue shorts. The cycles are silver and blue and equipped with flashing safety lights and police saddlebags.
West said bicycle patrolmen will have the same responsibilities and duties as officers operating patrol vehicles, including emergency response and working traffic and parking control.
He said the foot patrols by campus security and police interns also will continue with the overarching objective to provide the safest campus environment possible.