The North Bay Police Service is re-launching its bike patrol initiative just as the weather improves.
NBPS bike patrols use electric assist bicycles that are fully equipped with police lights and sirens and are able to reach a top speed of 42 kilometres per hour. North Bay's Farquhar Chrysler donated the e-bikes donated to NBPS in 2020.
"The e-bikes that were donated have been a great success. It has allowed our bike patrol officers to actively and pro-actively patrol the entire city instead of focusing just on the downtown core so they have been able to get to a lot more places," said Deputy Chief Mike Daze at the conclusion of the bike patrol season last September.
Bicycle patrols will be in effect throughout the warmer months again this year, primarily patrolling the downtown core and surrounding neighbourhoods. The patrols will complement the NBPS Community Response Unit, a team of four plainclothes officers who undertake crime prevention patrols throughout the downtown core and other areas of North Bay.
See related: NBPS: New unit can make a difference downtown and beyond
NBPS was pleased with the results following the return of its bicycle patrol in 2020 and committed to keeping the program running this year.
Daze observed the bike patrol helps officers get out in the community and engage the public in different ways. "They had some really good experiences where they had community members and businesses come and approach them and thank them for being out on the bikes and talking to them about how it is nice to have them being approachable."
Bike patrols provide an easy way for citizens to engage police when needed, as well as allowing officers access to areas of the city that a police vehicle may not be able to travel. The fact the patrol officers are highly visible also helps to deter crimes in the community before they happen, police say.