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Bike Patrol Training: An Often Dismissed High Risk Activity

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 47 Issue: 12 Dated: December 1999 Pages: 52-55
Kirby Beck
Date Published
December 1999
3 pages
This article discusses the importance and content of a bike patrol training program.
Both the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) and the Law Enforcement Bicycle Association offer basic courses that certify riders after 4 days of training. The IPMBA course features a number of topics and skills. These include basic handling skills and hazard avoidance techniques, fitness and nutrition, bike fit and pre-ride bike checks, slow-speed balance and handling skills, basic maintenance, legal issues and pertinent traffic laws, vehicular-style cycling (how to survive in traffic), group riding skills, pedestrian and car stop techniques, firearms considerations, and mock scenes to practice learned techniques. Bike officers need to unlearn old techniques that rely heavily on the safety of a patrol car. Even firing a gun in bike patrol gear is different than in regular police gear, because of the bike gloves and helmet. In addition, officers must be able to stop and exit their bike immediately if confronted with a potential gunfight. Most bike patrol officers ride part-time for special events and when patrol shifts allow. Still, these officers must be properly trained to do all of the police work they may encounter while on bike patrol.