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|NASHUA POLICE DEPARTMENT MT. BIKE PATROL UNIT
|The Nashua Police Department started a Mountain Bike Patrol Unit in 1989 with three officers assigned to bicycles as a means to supplement the downtown walking routes. The unit was so successful and well received by the citizens of Nashua that it was expanded, and bike unit officers are now seen on city streets and in parks throughout the City. Deployment of these bike officers currently varies depending on availability of manpower.
The Nashua Police Department uses police mountain bike patrols as a part of its community policing efforts. Putting police officers on bicycles not only allows officers to get to some calls and locations quicker, but it also provides easier interaction between citizens and officers that may otherwise be in marked patrol vehicles. Bike patrol officers utilize community police sub-stations to write reports, make telephone calls and meet with area residents. The Nashua Police Department currently has 12 officers assigned to the Mountain Bike Unit. These officers can be seen on daily patrols, as well as assisting with special events such as the 4th of July fireworks, parades and the Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics. Members of the bike unit also give presentations to local school children on bike safety and the importance of wearing a helmet.
Assignment to the Nashua Police Departmentís Mountain Bike Patrol Unit requires an officer to have at least 2 years of law enforcement experience. Officers must pass a physical fitness test, as well as an oral board interview. Upon successful completion of this testing process, officers attend a three-day Mountain Bike Officer certification course. The officers will also attend an annual one-day training and re-certification class.
Equipment, especially the uniform, is an important consideration for a Mountain Bike Patrol Officer. Nashua Police mountain bike officers wear lightweight uniforms, waterproof jackets, specialized shoes and helmets. Bike unit officers carry the same gear on their belts that other officers have; the only difference is the duty belt and holster are made of lightweight, nylon material that is more weather resistant than leather. The Nashua Police Departmentís Mountain Bike Unit utilizes TREK police model mountain bikes for their bike patrols. These bicycles are made with durable components and have served the Mountain Bike Unit well in years past. Each bike is equipped with high intensity lights for nighttime patrol and police markings for visibility.
The Nashua Police Department has found great success with mountain bike patrols. Whether in uniform or in plain clothes, police officers on bikes bring an added dimension to police work by allowing better interaction with the citizens of Nashua, while proving to be an effective law enforcement tool.
For more information on the Nashua Police Departmentís Mountain Bike Patrol Unit, please contact the Nashua Police Department at (603) 594-3500.