Owasso Police Bike Patrols

Tuesday, November 28th 2006, 3:44 pm
By: News On 6

It’s a holiday shopping problem to be wary of, purse snatchings and shoplifters. One Tulsa County police force is stepping up efforts to prevent crime in a unique way.

Owasso has become a shopping destination for people from a number of eastern Oklahoma towns, and police want to make sure those folks are safe during the holiday shopping season. News on 6 anchor Craig Day says they’re doing it with pedal power.

For many folks, Owasso is a hot spot for holiday shopping. While shoppers are inside looking for bargains, officers like Jason Kitch are keeping an eye on things outside.

"We're just an extension of patrol. We're just a different type," Officer Kitch said.

Kitch is one of the officers that make up the Owasso Police Department's bike patrol, which mostly targets busy shopping areas.

"This is getting us out of our patrol cars, getting us back in touch with the public," said Officer Kitch.

The bikes have lights, a siren and are specially equipped and designed for police work.

The four Owasso officers on the bike patrol underwent extensive training. In addition to those officers, there are also five reserve officers who help to make up the Owasso Police bike patrol. They are critical to the program's success. Patrols by those reserve officers often mean full-time officers can devote time to other duties.

But the bottom line is the bike patrol can help prevent shoplifting, purse snatchings, and car break-ins.

"This is the time of year when the bad guys are out trying to make a dollar any way they can by getting purses and whatever and I think it's a great deal," Oologah resident Steve Wigginton said.

"Well, Owasso is a safe place. It's just an added precaution. So it will be nice to know for all the shoppers who are out and since it gets dark early," shopper Jeanette North said.

"People see us and it makes them more comfortable. They're going to want to come shop and they're going to know that they're safe," Officer Jason Kitch said.

The bike patrol is very active during peak shopping times like weekends, especially leading up to Christmas. Officers also occasionally use the bikes to patrol neighborhoods especially during the summer.