Campus police increasing number of bike patrols
Sacramento State police recently purchased new bikes and will increase the number of bike patrols on campus.
It’s been said that once you learn to ride a bike, you never forget. That statement is proving true for many of Sacramento State’s Department of Public Safety officers.
During the summer, the department purchased new bikes and began a program to train all of its officers for bicycle patrol. “The goal is to be more visible, more accessible and more community oriented,” says Thelma Matthews, a campus public safety officer.
Matthews says she used to ride her bike often when she was a child. “But, when I started training, I thought, ‘My God, I don’t know how to ride a bike anymore.’
Part of the difference, Matthews says, is the equipment and gear officers wear. “You carry a 30-pound belt, a vest, and you have to be able to ride fast. It takes some time to get used to it.”
The training program included biking up and down stairs, coming off curbs, mounting and dismounting, braking and conducting a pursuit.
“Officers on bike patrol have many obstacles to deal with including having to ride into crowds,” says Robert Conroy, a Sacramento park ranger who led the training course. “You have to be constantly on guard and observant, plus you may have to deal with possible criminal activity.”
Having more officers on bike patrol will also help the department save on fuel costs and will help officers maintain fitness, said Sacramento State Police Chief Dan Davis.