The Oneonta Bicycle Patrol serves as a means of patrolling the City of Oneonta during special
events and special details, primarily. A bicycle patrol unit is also a form of Community Oriented
Policing whereby the police and the community communicate more frequently. Bicycle Patrol
Officers are less intimidating and threatening than the officers in patrol vehicles. These officers
have twice as many contacts with the public than do officers in patrol cars and are more
communicative with persons in the public. These positive contacts between bicycle officers and
the community help to counter the stereotypes of police officers as “out to get you” and reinforce
efforts to establish relationships of trust between the community and the department. They are
also well received by children that they interact with within the community. Bicycle Patrol Units
are less intimidating and frequently these officers are provided with information and details
about the crime and criminal activities more so than when the officer is patrolling an area with
his or her patrol car.
The Bicycle Patrol is less noticed by perpetrators of crime making them more capable of
apprehending persons who are committing burglaries and other various crimes. Bicycle Patrol
Officers frequently are not noticed until the last moment and ride up on crimes in progress fairly
regularly. Utilization of a bicycle patrol unit provides officers with a means of using all of their
five senses. Bicycle officers can see, hear, and even smell clues that lead them to areas where
crime is occurring.
Bicycle Patrol Officers receive health benefits by riding them during the course of their duties.
Utilization of bicycles provides for healthier officers who are more physically fit than the
officers who are assigned to motorized vehicles. These benefits reduce risks such as heart
attacks and health care costs associated with limited exercise many officers are not afforded.