East Grand Forks officials say bike patrols will help keep parks, Greenway safe
Several East Grand Forks police officers will be patrolling on two wheels instead of four this summer. A successful fundraising program has led to the creation of bicycle patrols in the city's parks and the Greenway. Sgt. Michelle Manias, who wil...
Several East Grand Forks police officers will be patrolling on two wheels instead of four this summer.
A successful fundraising program has led to the creation of bicycle patrols in the city's parks and the Greenway. Sgt. Michelle Manias, who will head the program, presented the department's new equipment to the East Grand Forks City Council at its work session Tuesday night.
Five officers are going through training for bike patrols, said Mike Hedlund, police chief.
"We really think a bike patrol will be very effective," he said. "From a crime prevention standpoint, officers are very quiet on bikes, which would be useful at night if we were to have a car break-in hotspot, for example."
Mayor Lynn Stauss said Greenway patrols would help protect runners who might otherwise not use the running trails.
"A lot of people want to use those trails, but they might be afraid," Mayor Lynn Stauss said.
Manias headed a fundraising campaign that more than doubled its goal. She received $18,200 in donations, including $9,000 -- the original goal -- from the Eagles Club.
The donations will pay for four bikes, new high-visibility uniforms and other equipment and training, Hedlund said. The personnel costs for the bike patrols will come from the city.
"We'll have some overtime shifts for the officers during special events," he said. "If we have more than our minimum staffing, they'll be able to leave directly from the station on the bikes. Otherwise, we have two bike carriers installed on our cars, so the officer can drive to a park and take the bike out for a patrol."
The bikes cost about $2,000 each, and will be specially outfitted with lights, disc brakes, oversized wheels and other upgrades that will improve safety and response time, Manias said.
"These bikes are really sweet," she said.
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