NORFOLK, Neb. -- Cars, trucks, motorcycles... and now bicycles! The Norfolk Police Division has added to their forms of transportation for patrolling the city for what they say they hope will be "a better way to serve the community."
Chief of Police, Don Miller said that while it seems basic, using bicycles in law enforcement is an effective tool for getting around.
Last month, three bicycle instructors from Bellevue spent about a week in Norfolk training five police officers how to properly use police bicycles. Miller says that more will be trained in the future.
Why bicycles? Bikes are able to give officers access to areas that aren't easily accessible by vehicle. Some of those areas can include trails, parks, fields, and special events.
The department say that all of the officers are fully certified and trained prior to using the bicycles. For the average citizen, there is no difference between vehicle and bicycle. If an officer directs an individual to stop and pull over while they are on the bicycle, they are legally obligated to do so.
The officers with bicycles will still drive a police cruiser and answer service calls. In addition, they will have a bike on the back of the cruiser for when there is a need or opportunity to use it.
The bicycles are to provide better access to tight spaces, personal contact to citizens, and stealthier approaches when it is necessary, according to a press release from NPD. The department says it is also a great tool for special events where there is a large number of pedestrians, like parades or park events where getting regular vehicles in areas are difficult to impossible.