by News Bureau on Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2012
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., July 10, 2012 — The Department of Public Safety (DPS) at Southeast Missouri State University is launching a campus bike patrol beginning this week.
Five uniformed officers will hit the streets on bikes in another effort to boost campus safety and security, said Doug Richards, director of the Department of Public Safety.
“Its time has come,” Richards said. “It will complement our present patrol duties and assist us in crime prevention.”
Five officers currently on the Southeast force will participate in the new patrol, but they will now don bicycle helmets and polo shirts with the identifiable “police” on the back of them.
Richards says that while DPS will continue to patrol with motor vehicles, the bike patrol offers several safety advantages.
A bicycle patrol allows DPS to boost its community policing efforts and makes it possible for officers to interface more easily with and make themselves accessible to students, faculty, staff and visitors, he said.
In addition, officers on bikes can more easily maneuver in and out of crowds and around buildings, and can get closer to intended locations, he said. A bicycle patrol also will help save on fuel costs and repairs on patrol cars, Richard said, adding bikes are also friendlier on the environment.
The five officers on bikes will patrol the campus during days and evenings, primarily in the spring, summer and fall, he said.
Southeast is not the first university campus to have a bicycle patrol. The University of Missouri-Columbia, Truman State University, Saint Louis University and other campuses, have a bike patrol, Richards said.