|Bike Patrol Unit Celebrates 20 Years|
|Written by Carol Thomson|
|Tuesday, 15 May 2012 12:03|
A police patrol unit that has become a harbinger of spring, is celebrating its 20th year.
The Saskatoon Police Service bicycle patrol unit began in 1992 with 6 Constables and a Sergeant, and now has 18 officers.
Sgt. Patrick Barbar says the public has come to recognize the unit as a sign of sign of spring, akin to the pelicans arrival at the Weir.
The Community Response Unit takes on the same types of calls as those in patrol cars.
Barbar believes the CRU is excellent at patrolling street level crime because you can see things from from a bike that you can't from a car.
Bicycle patrols are able to roll up virtually undetected on a lot of scenes, so they are good at interrupting crime in progress.
The CRU is also more accessible to the public.
To become a member of the unit, an officer has to undergo training accredited by the Law Enforcement Bicycle Association.
That's where you learn bicycle riding techniques, criminal apprehension techniques off a bicycle, and safety when pulling over vehicles.
The CRU is out between mid-April and November patrolling Saskatoon's streets and working crowd safety at major events.
Barbar estimates an officer will average about 50 kilometres on their bike a day in a 12 hour shift, and the current record is 115 kilometres.