The Grand Ledge Police Department (GLPD) has been utilizing bicycles for patrol since 1997 as an effective way to supplement patrol and increase community relations in Grand Ledge. As new officers joining the department, the need for updated bicycles and training grew. In 2019, through a partnership with the Grand Ledge Chamber of Commerce, GLPD extended a call for support to the community. Chamber members in the greater Grand Ledge area donated over $5,000 to support GLPD in their efforts to grow the Bike Patrol Unit. GLPD was fortunate to work with a local retailer to purchase three new Trek policing bicycles and worked with the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office for bike patrol training that included legal education, slow speed skills and roadside maintenance, trail riding, and patrol tactics. GLPD retains several officers properly equipped and trained to make the Bike Patrol program successful.
Bike Patrol Advantages
Bike Patrol allows officers to accomplish several goals while on duty. A frequently cited benefit is the increased community relations. Bike officers are much more approachable than officers in patrol cars.
Crime prevention is another area that is enhanced. Bike officers are able to hear and see a much larger variety of things happening around them. Bike officers are also able to observe activity more unobtrusively than officers in a patrol car. They have a better chance of witnessing criminal activity without being seen themselves.
The Bike Patrol is only used as a supplemental patrol in Grand Ledge, as maintaining officers for emergency response is the first priority. However, when staffing allows an officer to hit the road on two wheels, we have had many successes in keeping Grand Ledge a safe community. Everything from dealing with curfew violators to felony arrests has been completed by officers on Bike Patrol.