Riverdale Police start bicycle patrol

By Ed Brock

Stealth and maneuverability are the latest weapons in the Riverdale Police Department's arsenal for fighting crime.

The department has begun a new bicycle patrol. So far it has bought two mountain bikes and the cost of the program, about $1,100 with all the equipment for the officers, is well within the department's budget, interim Riverdale Police Chief Greg Barney said.

"The Riverdale bike patrol will be effective in the city for several reasons. Stealth and mobility for undercover operations, ability to patrol congested areas with rapid response times, utility in special events and crowd control management, deployment in routine patrol and their role in community-oriented policing," Barney said in a statement. "The officers have the ability to conduct surveillance by affording easy access to unconventional locations, such as from behind trees, around corners and from wooded areas. By using a silent approach to crimes in progress it enhances officer safety and increases the element of surprise to perpetrators."

On Friday the patrol officers made their first arrest.

Bike patrol Officer Charles Catley said his partner Officer Kurt Stauffer and he caught a group of people by surprise and Wren's Crossing and when a man in the group ran they chased him into a nearby apartment. They got him out of the apartment and found that he had drugs in his possession.

"They're great bikes," Stauffer said. "They're very comfortable and maneuverable."