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Content Any Way U Want It!

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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

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Officers on bikes patrol University, connect with students

With summer in full swing, people around town are taking full advantage of the sunny weather days, including the University Bicycle Patrol Force.

Lieutenant Dennis Ehlers works for the University police department and is a former member of the bicycle patrol force.

“We do a bike patrol training program that is a week long,” he said. “Officers learn how to mount and dismount the bike properly, how to ride in pairs and how to stop the bike if you must use your firearm. It’s a pretty intense program.”

Being on a bicycle allows a police officer to be closer to the people, and to see more of their surroundings and what is occurring, Ehlers said. A bicycle patrol division also helps boost morale, fitness, and lets the officers interact with the community on a more personal level.

Some University students have taken notice of the force while some have never spotted them before. Junior Rebecca Whitesel said she was not aware the University had bike police. While graduate student Udita Datta, said she has seen police officers on bikes before.

“I’ve seen the bike police and every time I’ve seen them it has indicated which houses have been partying too hard,” she said. “If the bike police are outside, that’s a party house.”

Ehlers also said some of the benefits of being on a bicycle as opposed to being in a car as well as the amount of student interaction, which has improved toward the bike police.

“The students often talk to the cops on bikes as opposed to walking up to a cop car, it relates to them [more],” Ehlers said. “People don’t know you’re out there on bikes too often, so you can ride up on situations where they don’t even know you are there.”

Masters student Margo Coniam said she believes having a bicycle patrol force is useful.

“From far away, you can’t really tell if it’s a cop or just a bicyclist, as opposed to when you see a cop car you immediately know,” Coniam said.

Ehlers said being on a bike makes him more approachable towards students, which is something he enjoys.

“They’re still police officers, but I think it’s the persona making them a little easier to get in contact with. Not too many students want to approach a police car,” he said.

While some students have conflicting opinions about the force, sophomore Alexcea Frye summarized her positive feelings towards the bicycle police in four simple words.

“Bicycle cops are rad,” Frye said.

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