City is expanding police bicycle patrol

June 5, 2009

By Jim Feehan

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Residents and downtown business owners should see something different in the coming weeks: several officers on bike patrol.

Newcastle Police Officer Melissa Deer patrols Lake Boren Park.  Contributed

Newcastle Police Officer Melissa Deer patrols Lake Boren Park. Contributed

The city’s police force has five members who have become certified for bicycle patrol.

Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine recently completed a weeklong training certification program in Tacoma. Officers were taught slow-speed balancing, quick stops, going down stairs, jumping curbs and how to capture a suspect from the bike, Irvine said.

Residents will see officers on bicycles throughout the summer.

“We especially plan to be on the trails and in parks, as well as through the downtown area,” Irvine said. 

Officer Melissa Deer has already been on patrols at Lake Boren Park and in the China Creek neighborhood. 

Bike patrols are nothing new to Newcastle. Residents may re member Officers George Ireland and Eric Lewis on bike patrol when they worked in the city a few years ago, Irvine said.

“There was a lag while we were waiting for a bike school in the area. Because of the nature of the police patrols, officers must be certified before they may ride a bicycle at work,” she said. “I was able to locate this training for free.”

The training is based on the International Police Mountain Bike Association curriculum. The course typically costs about $400 per officer.

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