Bicycle Unit

Bike PatrolThe Midothian Police Department has six trained Officers assigned to the bike team squad with four specially equipped Trek patrol bikes. To be qualified for the bike team, an Officer must attend an intensive four-day training. During this training the Officer is taught advanced riding skills, defensive and offensive riding strategies and general bike maintenance.

Putting a police officer on a bicycle has many advantages. It makes the officer more approachable to the public without the car doors and windows forming a barrier between the officer and citizen, allowing for more informal interactions. This approachability augments the Midlothian Police Department’s commitment to community policing, working in partnership with the community we serve. The bicycle also attracts children to Officers, which creates a learning situation for safe riding discussions.

A bicycle also has access to areas that a car cannot go, such as trails, side yards and some alleys. This broadens our patrol abilities, especially when it comes to pursuing suspects who are on foot. A bicycle is also less obtrusive and more low-key than a patrol car. It allows the officer to approach a situation without being observed and without as great an interruption in “normal” activity than driving a car into the area. The bike Officers also actively patrol Midlothian parks and areas previously inaccessible to patrol Officers.

Bicycle Safety Tips


1. PROTECT YOUR HEAD
Wear a helmet. Studies have shown that using a bicycle helmet can reduce head injuries by up to 85%. Select a helmet that has a snug but comfortable fit. Look for helmet labels that show they are recommended by either the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation.

2. SEE AND BE SEEN
Wear proper clothing. Wear Clothes that make you more visible. Clothing should be light in color and close fitting to avoid being caught in the bicycle's moving parts. Also, be sure that books and other loose items are secured to the bike or are carried in a back pack.

3. GO WITH THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC
The safe way is the right way. You must obey the rules of the road. These include all traffic signs, signals, and road markings. Ride on the right side of the street in single file. Use Proper Hand Signals. Never weave from lane to lane or tailgate to hitch rides on moving cars or trucks.

4. LOOK BOTH WAYS
Be aware of traffic around you. Seven out of Ten car-bicycle crashes occur at driveways or other intersections. Before you enter a street or intersection, check for traffic and always look left-right-left. Walk your bicycle across busy streets at corners or crosswalks.

5. STAY ALERT
Keep a look-out for obstacles in your path. Watch out for potholes, sewer gratings, cracks, railroad tracks, loose gravel, and broken glass. Before going around any object, look ahead and behind you for a free gap in traffic. Plan your move, and then signal your intentions. Be especially careful in wet weather, as water can make you slip and make your brakes work improperly.

6. BEWARE THE DARK SIDE
Be cautious when biking at night. If you have to ride at night, display front and rear reflectors on your bicycle. Wear reflective clothing or materials, especially on your ankles, wrists, back, and helmet. Ride in areas that are familiar and on streets that are brightly lighted.

7. GO OFF ROAD
Follow designated bike routes if available. Bicycle routes are marked by special signs or lines. Bike paths are special areas reserved for bikes. Become familiar with such accommodations for cyclists in your area.

8. FIX IT UP
Make sure your bicycle is adjusted properly. Your bicycle should be correctly adjusted to fit you; your feet should rest on the ground while sitting in the seat. Before using your bike, check to make sure that all parts are secure and working. The handlebars should be firmly in place and turn easily; the wheels should be straight and secure.

9. STOP IT
Check brakes before riding. Control your speed by using your brakes. If your bicycle has hand brakes, apply the rear brakes slightly before the front brake. Remember to ride slowly in wet, slippery weather and to apply brakes earlier since it takes more distance to stop.

10. DON'T FLIP YOUR BIKE
Wheels should be securely fastened. Check wheels before every ride, after every fall, or after transporting your bike to be sure that they are fastened and secure. Make sure that tires are properly inflated.

***REMEMBER PROTECT YOUR BIKE AGAINST THEFT LOCK IT UP***