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TPD receives $30,000 grant for Downtown bike patrol unit

Posted at 5:17 PM, May 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-10 12:01:24-04

We rarely see them but they're there - police on bikes. 

Now, we'll be seeing more bike patrols as the Tucson Police Department Downtown Bike patrol unit received a $30,000 grant from Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Foundation to reinvigorate their Downtown. 

The unit received 4 e-bikes, 10 mountain bikes and gear - allowing them to patrol a larger area using less energy and more efficiency. 

Kelly Watters with Food Conspiracy Co-op on 4th Avenue says, "a lot of times the police are our go-to so a lot of times when we need to take someone for emergency services - if they can get here quicker that's better for us." 

LT. Thomas Hawke says, the bikes allow officers to be more approachable and officers feel like they can approach citizens more easily. 

"Bicycle patrol gives the opportunity for the community to be involved with on a human level and that contact with the police officers as they're on their bicycles," says Bonnie Faircloth with SALEF. 

Business owners see bike patrols pedaling up and down the streets quite often . "We've noticed a big presence of the bike copes and also just the walking police," says Popcycle store manager, Libbey Tobey. 

Libbey says, it's a way for police to get into the community they protect and serve. "It's a great community service and just getting to know the officers a little by name is kind of fun." 

The older bikes will be rebuilt and given out to other divisions.