The University of MN describes advantages they have found in using foot patrols (with dogs) and bicycles.
The State Office of Enterprise Sustainability has, as of December 2018, considered adding e-bikes to the state master contract, which would allow cities to buy off of a master contract without going out for bid.
Police patrols on bike, foot, Segway or horseback.
City inspectors or other staff on bike, e-bike, foot or horseback.
Report outcome measures resulting from actions: decreased costs, reduced vehicle miles traveled, fleet reductions, or other metrics.
Who's doing it
Golden Valley - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2015
Bike patrol is used for enforcement in parks and on trails and in situations where it’s beneficial for officers to be more covert. Bike patrol is also used by the Golden Valley Police Department as an outreach tool. Every summer bike patrol and the Golden Valley Fire Department host weekly events in public parks to strengthen connections with families in the community. GVPD also offers an annual bike-along where residents can tour Golden Valley trails with two police officers and learn about bike safety.
In 2015 about 20 residents participated in the annual bike-along.
The Public Safety Department has incorporated bike and foot patrols into their patrol routines. Also, the GIS department has a bicycle that is used to collect GPS data on existing street structures.
One police officer, now retired lost over 50 lbs of weight by volunteering to be on bike patrol. Fuel consumption has went down by incorporating bike patrols and general public awareness of bike safety has increased.
The city's police reserve unit uses bicycles and ATV's for patrols, according to the city's reserve department promotional brochure.
The 2009 "Your City at Work" report noted that measures reducing electricity and adopting efficient driving habits and a no-idle policy reduced fuel and electricity use by 5%.
The Albert Lea Police Department established their Bike Patrol unit in 1998. The Bike Patrol unit is highly visible and accessible to the community, day or night, seven days a week, throughout all of Albert Lea. The Bike Patrol unit is comprised of P.O.S.T. licensed and specially trained Police Officers, under the continued professional development and command of Lt. Darren Hanson, Police Cyclist Instructor.
Since 1991 the Coon Rapids Police Department has had a bike patrol to assist with large community and athletic events, including high school football games, carnivals, and the 4th of July celebration. Bikes are also used on an as needed basis for proactive patrol in known or suspected trouble spots. Bikes work well in city parks and on the miles of bicycle and recreation trails in Coon Rapids.
Bike patrol officers have the unique opportunity to be approachable by the public. Bike officers are able to meet the residents and allows for an ideal way to facilitate community policing.
We currently have four officers that have attended bike patrol training through the Saint Paul Police Department. These officers occasionally patrol on bicycles specifically designed for this kind of work and are equipped with emergency lighting. These officers have bike carriers attached to their squad cars so they can patrol all areas of the town on their bikes and not be far from their squad car. The biggest benefit of having the officers on their bikes is it brings them closer to the public and therefore increased interaction with the public. It also provides a change of pace for the officers and allows them to easily access areas not available to them while in their squad car. All of our officers are encouraged and expected (when time permits) to spend at least a portion of their shift out of the car on foot. Again, the biggest benefit of this type of patrolling is the ability to have more face to face contact with the public. Officers will walk the downtown area and visit businesses, walk neighborhoods, and specific problem areas that are identified from time to time. This activity also provides a change of pace for the officers and allows them to interact and listen to the public’s concerns. We have received a lot of positive comments from the public when they see the officers out and about on foot. We do not have horseback patrols in Red Wing.
The bike patrol works primarily in the City's parks and trails, interacting with the public, answering questions and providing information and literature about the City and the parks. Both sworn police officers and police reserve officers serve as bike patrol. Bike patrol also works with other agencies on problem areas.
Number of contacts with SLP residents and visitors.
The police department utilizes both bike and foot patrol, primarily in the spring, summer and fall months. The bikes as well as foot patrol are utilized for special events or in large areas such as PineCone Central Park where access is limited by vehicle. Specialized bike or foot patrols are also put into place when we have reports of specific types of crimes in certain areas of the community. By being on bike or foot, the officers can more stealthily work through neighborhoods and yards, unlike a motor vehicle which stands out and tends to make it more difficult to apprehend those involved in the crimes. With that said, both bike and foot patrol are good ways to interact with the community on a more personal level by not being behind the window of a squad car.
The city does not have bike or horseback patrol, but our officers do a considerable amount of foot patrol during the good weather. There is no dedicated “foot patrol” shift, but every day someone is out on foot in a specific area or in underground apartment garages etc, conducting foot patrol – in addition to the foot patrol at City events, Marketfest and Manitou Days.
The City of Woodbury Public Safety Department uses its bike patrol program as a means to enhance the investigative abilities and to improve community interactions. Bikes are used to get around in confined spaces & places (parks, retail areas) as a means of crime detection and prevention, and as a community relations platform in the same types of venues. Bikes are also used on specific problems, such as curfew or thefts from autos allowing officers to covertly troll around neighborhoods.
In the spring of 2019 City Hall and Property & Facilities Maintenance got 2 e-bikes each which were available to city staff for meetings, recreation, and errands from May through October. Together the 4 bikes rode 660 miles and saved 30 gallons of gas, keeping 582 pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere. The city is in the process of analyzing usage to determine if more bikes are needed.
The Police Department regularly uses bike patrols to supplement or replace squad cars in Canal Park and the Downtown area during the summer. In 2019 officers rode 317 shifts and biked a total of 2760 miles saving 124 gallons of gas. This also kept 2,430 pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere while simultaneously helping to reduce air pollution in some of the most pedestrian heavy areas of the city.
Miles biked, gallons of gas saved, CO2 kept from the atmosphere.