Brunswick Police Department started a Mountain Bike Unit in 1993 with two
officers assigned to bicycles as a means to supplement the downtown walking
beat. The unit was so successful and well received by the citizens of
Brunswick that it was expanded, and bike unit officers are now seen on downtown
streets and in parks throughout the community. Deployment of these bike
officers currently varies depending on availability of manpower.
The bike patrol unit is seasonal and generally operates from mid May
until late November, on both day and evening shifts.
The Brunswick Police Department uses police mountain bike patrols as a part
of its community policing efforts. By Having police officers on bicycles,
it not only allows officers to get to some calls and locations quicker, but it
also makes for a very approachable police officer, than that of his counterpart,
the traditional officer in a patrol car. Bike patrol officers can be
seen on daily patrols, as well as assisting with special events such as when the
Blue Angels come into town, or the Memorial Day parade, Bowdoin College sporting
events, and the Law Enforcement Torch Run. Members of the bike unit also
give presentations to local school children on bike safety and the importance of
wearing a helmet.
Assignment to the mountain bike unit requires an officer to have at least one
year of law enforcement experience, be recommended by their immediate
supervisor, and successfully pass the Maine Criminal Justice Academy forty-hour
police cyclist certification course.
Proper equipment, especially the uniform, is a paramount consideration for a
mountain bike officer serving in the northeast. Brunswick Police mountain
bike officers wear lightweight CoolMax uniforms in the summertime, and have windproof water
resistant, insulated jackets and pants, special gloves, face and head warmers
for the very cool fall night shifts. All of our uniforms are supplied by Olympic Uniforms,
based in Seattle, Washington. Bike
officers carry the same gear on their belts that other officers have; the only
difference is that the duty belt and holster are made of lightweight, nylon
material that is more weather resistant than leather. The Brunswick Police
Departmentís Mountain Bike Unit utilizes Specialized
mountain bikes for their bike patrols. These bicycles are made with front
shocks, disc brakes, very sturdy frames and have served the bike unit well over
the years. Each bike is equipped with high intensity lights for nighttime
patrol and police markings for visibility.
The Brunswick Police Department has found great success with mountain bike
patrols. Whether in uniform or in plain clothes.
Police officers on bikes bring an added dimension to police work by
allowing better interaction with the citizens of Brunswick, while proving to be
an effective law enforcement tool.
For more information on the Brunswick Police Departmentís Mountain Bike
Unit, or the Maine Criminal Justice Academy Police Cyclist certification course,
please contact; Lieutenant
or Officer Jon O'Connor.