New Police Unit Launched

Wednesday, May 2nd 2007, 5:09 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa Police prepare to get a new patrol unit on the road. Training began Wednesday for the TPD Bike Patrol which will patrol downtown Tulsa. Instructors say in many situations these officers are more effective than those in patrol cars. Officers call it a new spin on the old foot beat. The News On 6’s Heather Lewin reports soon they'll be hitting the streets, sidewalks and stairs near you.

"There are situations, a downtown or park situation that we can get somewhere faster than a person in a car," said Tulsa Police Officer Jason Kitch.

The officers have gone through 16 hours of training, just on the first day, from braking, speed and rough terrain, to capturing a suspect.

"If we're chasing someone on foot, we're gonna get tired, just as quickly as they are, but if we're on a bike we can keep up with them, hardly working at all, we wait until they get tired out and take them down," said Kitch.

TPD has had some officers on bikes in the past, but officials say this is a new organized group focusing on downtown. For now, they'll be called out on special events or large gatherings of people, although the department hopes to make them full-time. Officers say the bikes are especially effective at night.

"These are silent. You can sneak up,” said Kitch. “They will never know you're there, whereas in a car, they'll hear the motor, squeaking brakes and they're gonna be looking for that. They're not gonna be looking for somebody on a bike."

One of the biggest challenges is outdated equipment. Officials say the bikes they have are so old that for Wednesday’s training, officers brought their own from home. But help is on the way. Downtown businesses have pooled together a $12,000 donation to buy new bikes for the unit.

Watch the video: Tulsa Police Department Launching New Unit