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HomeNewsArchives$10K IN DONATIONS REVAMP POLICE BIKE PATROL UNIT

$10K IN DONATIONS REVAMP POLICE BIKE PATROL UNIT

Put together $10,000 in donations, 17 local officers, experts from the mainland and the result is a revamped V.I. Police Department Bicycle Patrol.
Over the last week, officers from St. Croix and St. Thomas have been involved in a 40-hour police bicycle training program with experts from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department’s bike unit.
The program, which will certify the local officers with the International Police Mountain Biking Association, is part of a larger community effort on St. Croix that donated six new mountain bikes, equipment and uniforms worth some $10,000, said Roger Dewey of the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development.
The training of the 17 local officers, with four from St. Thomas, is being provided by Dominic Angiolillo and Scott Hickey, members of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. The Fort Lauderdale bike unit, considered one of the best in the nation, has 30 bikes and some 75 certified bicycle patrol officers, Hickey said.
The 40-hour cycling course includes 8 hours of class work and a 50-question test. But before the trainees put pen to paper, they have been putting rubber to the road.
The biggest challenge, said Cpl. Darlene McFarlane, a St. Croix bike unit supervisor, is not going fast, it’s taking it slow.
"It’s balance and control. Slow riding," McFarlane said. "They have us going up and down stairs."
The value of the bike patrol lies in its ability to get to areas that vehicles can’t, like the boardwalk in Christiansted or the narrow alleys of downtown Charlotte Amalie, said Officer Robert Gardner of the St. Thomas bike unit. With the St. Thomas unit now five years old, Gardner and his three colleagues are getting recertified.
He said patrolling on a bike allows a quick response, but also takes quick thinking. "People think it’s like they see on TV," Gardner said. "We actually do that stuff day to day."

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Put together $10,000 in donations, 17 local officers, experts from the mainland and the result is a revamped V.I. Police Department Bicycle Patrol.
Over the last week, officers from St. Croix and St. Thomas have been involved in a 40-hour police bicycle training program with experts from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department’s bike unit.
The program, which will certify the local officers with the International Police Mountain Biking Association, is part of a larger community effort on St. Croix that donated six new mountain bikes, equipment and uniforms worth some $10,000, said Roger Dewey of the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development.
The training of the 17 local officers, with four from St. Thomas, is being provided by Dominic Angiolillo and Scott Hickey, members of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. The Fort Lauderdale bike unit, considered one of the best in the nation, has 30 bikes and some 75 certified bicycle patrol officers, Hickey said.
The 40-hour cycling course includes 8 hours of class work and a 50-question test. But before the trainees put pen to paper, they have been putting rubber to the road.
The biggest challenge, said Cpl. Darlene McFarlane, a St. Croix bike unit supervisor, is not going fast, it’s taking it slow.
"It’s balance and control. Slow riding," McFarlane said. "They have us going up and down stairs."
The value of the bike patrol lies in its ability to get to areas that vehicles can’t, like the boardwalk in Christiansted or the narrow alleys of downtown Charlotte Amalie, said Officer Robert Gardner of the St. Thomas bike unit. With the St. Thomas unit now five years old, Gardner and his three colleagues are getting recertified.
He said patrolling on a bike allows a quick response, but also takes quick thinking. "People think it’s like they see on TV," Gardner said. "We actually do that stuff day to day."