Overview and Duties
Putting officers on bicycles is an old idea that has made a comeback in recent years.
Over 100 years ago, the New York City Police Department used officers on bikes as a less expensive alternative to the mounted horse patrol. Motorized vehicles eventually replaced bicycles and they virtually disappeared from police work for decades.
The resurgence of bicycles in law enforcement came when Community Oriented Policing surfaced. Officers on bikes can more effectively patrol highly populated areas, businesses, parks, neighborhoods, and special events while being highly visible and interacting with the public. Bicycles can also access areas that a car cannot go, such as trails, wooded areas, alleys, and more. This broadens an officer’s abilities especially when it comes to pursuing a fleeing suspect on foot. Bicycles are also less obtrusive and more low-key than a patrol car, allowing officers to approach situations without being observed and without additional disruption in the area.
Burleson utilizes bicycle officers when weather conditions permit. All bicycle officers are assigned to the patrol section and have the ability to carry their police bike on a rack on the back of their squad car. They can swap from patrol car to bicycle in a matter of minutes depending on the type of call they are dispatched to. All officers utilizing police bikes are volunteers and have special training in their use.