YPSILANTI – The Eastern Michigan University Department of Public Safety has expanded its Bicycle Patrol Program. Six additional certified officers recently underwent the training, bringing the total number of bicycle officers on Eastern’s campus to 13.
Through training provided by the International Police Mountain Bike Association and LouKa Tactical, the certified officers were trained on specialty police mountain bikes to accomplish tasks such as using their bicycles in pursuit, going up and down flights of stairs, and using the bikes as a distraction. The Department of Public Safety hopes to add more officers to the program in the future.
“The program is good for our officers’ health, and it’s awesome for them to ride on campus and stop and talk to people,” said Sgt. Joseph Torres, who helped oversee the training. “They’re trained to do everything a normal officer would do in a vehicle, but from a bike.”
In addition to the main campus, bicycle officers patrol around the athletic campus and the Convocation Center (799 North Hewitt Road) along with the College of Business on Michigan Avenue and the adjacent Ypsilanti downtown area. Some carry medical equipment and about twenty pounds of gear. All can ride through buildings.
“With a higher vantage point than the average person, bicycle officers can better respond to emergencies, and can ride through crowds safely,” said Torres.
In addition to their usual campus activities, the bicycle officers will be assigned to upcoming high school graduations, and other community events.
On August 11, the Department of Public Safety will host a Bicycle Rodeo at the Convocation Center, where bicycle officers will engage with the community, teach bicycle safety, and give participants tips for sharing the roads. Torres said the department hopes it will become an annual event.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 20,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.