The Lancaster Police Department introduced the Bicycle Patrol Unit in July 2001. All officers participating in this unit are required to obtain certification through the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA), which familiarizes them with the capabilities, handling, and versatile nature of the bicycle as part of the overall police mission.
The Bicycle Patrol Unit also provides local police officers with yet another "vehicle" to interact with the community and keep our citizens safe. The unit fulfills an ongoing goal for community policing, giving officers a variety of tools for positive networking.
Benefits of the Bicycle Unit
The Bicycle Patrol Unit has the capability to operate 24 hours per day and 7 days per week, which increases police visibility in Lancaster neighborhoods. The unit is used for crowd and traffic control, bicycle road races, parades, the 4th of July celebration, and the Lancaster Festival. Each year the unit is requested to supplement policing efforts at the Ohio University Halloween festivities in Athens, Ohio. On a day-to-day basis, each patrol watch commander is afforded the discretion of how and when to implement this unit.
The initial funding for the purchase of these bicycles ($990 per unit) was provided by a federal block grant.