Student Officer Program Establishes Bike Unit

    SO Sgt. Russ Sullivan pictured with new bike uniform.
    May 14, 2019

    This article originally appeared in The Dispatch, the University Police Department's newsletter. You can read it in its entirety, here.

    Over the past few weeks, community members may have noticed Student Officers patrolling campus on bicycles wearing new high visibility yellow shirts. These Student Officers are part of the SO Bike Patrol Unit, a pilot program introduced at the beginning of the semester in order to increase the range of Student Officer patrols on campus.

    In February of this year, Police Chief Bergmann conditionally approved a proposal which detailed the benefits of a Student Officer bike patrol unit. The bike patrol unit will allow Student Officers to be more visible on campus, respond to incidents more quickly, and cover a larger area than traditional foot patrols allow for.

    Currently, only supervisors within the Student Officer program are authorized to ride bikes, however, we hope that the unit will be expanded in the fall semester to include non-ranking student officers. Student Officers riding the bikes will go through a bike-specific training and will be issued a high-visibility yellow uniform shirt to make them more conspicuous while patrolling. In this way, they will be more visible to both community members and motorists, while also differentiating themselves from the traditional police bike patrol units.

    The bikes currently being used by Student Officers are shared with University Police Bike Patrol Officers, who can be seen patrolling during the warmer months wearing the standard blue and black bike uniform shirts. However, in the coming months, University Police hopes to acquire two new bikes specifically for the Student Officer Bike Unit so that we can increase the number of individuals on bikes during any shift. The addition of a Bike Unit to the Student Officer Program is another example of University Police continuing to improve the safety and security of the community with innovative policing and patrol methods.

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