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Bike Patrol Squad keeps FAU safe, cuts fuel costs in the process
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By JOHN HALLIHAN
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Florida Atlantic University’s mounted police officers have found new value in bicycles when gasoline prices are up and the law enforcement budget has not increased.

Just over a year ago, when Charles Lowe became police chief, he emphasized community-oriented police work, which included putting more officers on bikes to patrol the campus.

“The bike allows the officer further interaction with students, and there is a great deal of education that goes on through that contact,” Deputy Police Chief Keith Totten said.

“It’s a good way to police because we’re so available and so visible,” said Officer Guy Shumanski, a member of the bike patrol squad. “I choose to be a bike patrol officer because I enjoy being out with the community.”

Not only does the use of bikes assist officers become closer with the community, but they also help offset the cost of gas prices when the police fuel budget remained fixed.

Last fiscal year, the 12 marked patrol vehicles assigned to patrol the Boca Raton campus used roughly $60,000 in fuel.

“The bike unit removes one vehicle from service per shift, per day, so that saves approximately 15 gallons of gas every 24 hours,” Totten said.

Using a 300-day year, which accounts for times an officer cannot patrol on a bicycle, the fuel savings could be thousands of dollars a year.

The police bike patrol squad provides other benefits, too, including quicker response time. In a patrol vehicle, an officer would have to park and walk to reach some parts of campus, but on a bike officers can get to destinations inaccessible to cars.

One credo is that bike patrol officers stay with their bikes at all times – even when conducting an investigation in a dormitory building.

“It's part of your training when you become a bike officer. The bike goes wherever you go, no matter what,” Shumanski said.

 

 
 

 
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Bike Patrol Squad keeps FAU safe, cuts fuel costs in the process