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Mission of the Bicycle Patrol Unit
The mission of the Bicycle Patrol Unit (B.P.U.) is to provide Service (Education, Prevention, Enforcement) in the areas of the Parks and Greenbelt and other areas difficult to patrol by vehicle in Boise City.
The Boise Police Department Bike Patrol Unit (BPU) was started as a part time summer unit with two officers assigned to the unit in 1989. The primary work area was the parks and downtown area within Boise.
In 1993, the bike patrol was expanded to two full time year round officers, whose primary duties were to patrol the parks and 22.5 miles of Greenbelt pathway that follows the Boise River.
After the tremendous success of the bike patrol, the unit now has six full time officers and one sergeant. Our primary area of operation continues to be the Parks, the Greenbelt pathway and downtown Boise, as well as any specialized enforcement duties that may arise.
The members of the Bicycle Patrol Unit ride specially configure mountain bikes specifically designed and equipped for police patrol. The bikes have a mix of Shimano, SRAM, Fox, Avid, DT and Specialized components. All of the bikes are leased from a local bike shop after a competitive bid process. They are custom equipped with special purpose lighting, rack bags and clip-less pedals. The bikes are rotated out every two years due to the high mileage and year around usage.
Standards & Training
Officers who are interested in a bike position complete a competitive selection process. They are required to pass the current BPD physical fitness test, and complete an interview. Once accepted for the position, the officer must attend and successfully complete a thirty hour Basic Bike Patrol Training course.
Each officer is assigned their own bike to ride for patrol duties.
Each officer is responsible for daily upkeep of their bikes, to include washing, lubing the chain, and making sure the bike is in good working order. Officers typically wash and re-lube the bike at least once per week, depending on weather conditions. Prior to going on shift, each officer completes an "ABC" check on their bike to make sure it is in working order. The "ABC" check is:
A is for Air. Officers make sure that the tires are properly inflated.
B is for Brakes. Officers confirm that front and rear brakes are working.
C is for Chain. Officers take a look to make sure that the chain and drive train is properly lubed and is not too worn.
Questions & Answers
Q. Do you have to be a patrol officer before you can become a bike patrol officer?
A. Yes, typically there are few openings in the unit but when there are we require a minimum of three years of prior experience before you can apply for an opening in the unit.
Q. How many officers are currently assigned to the unit?
A. We have five full time riders and one sergeant. We ride year round, in almost any type of weather. Of course we would prefer to have sunshine and 80 degree temperatures year round but with the small amount of snow that does fall on the city, we do not have any problems riding all year long.
Q. Where do you patrol?
A. We patrol along the Boise downtown parks and the Greenbelt paths. We do venture downtown and into the north end for specific enforcement issues.
Q. Do you patrol at night?
A. We have officers on duty that work from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.