The Des Plaines Police Department displayed four new iForce bicycles, the department's latest addition to its vehicle fleet, outside the Des Plaines Police Station, 1418 Miner St.
Mayor Martin J. Moylan and City Manager Michael Bartholomew joined police Chief William Kushner, Deputy Chief Mike Kozak and members of the police department as the specialized police bikes were exhibited.
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The additional bikes will bring the police department's bicycle fleet to a total of six. The iForce bikes, manufactured in Butler, Pa., include emergency lights and sirens and customized graphics with the Des Plaines Police Department's identifiable shield visible.
A recent memo to the city administration from the police department documented the need for the additional bikes: "In order to effectively use a proactive approach to criminal activity, it is important to have as many resources available as possible.
"An effective resource that the police department can use, if equipped properly, is bicycles …"
Police called attention to the value of using bicycles to enhance "saturation patrols in problem areas of the city" as an enforcement strategy. These require officers to patrol an area on foot, bicycles or in police vehicles. Since the department's two bicycles were 12 years old, the need to upgrade the department's bicycles became apparent.
In addition, further training will be provided to officers in the Support Services and Patrol divisions of the police department, enabling the department to deploy a police bicycle anytime of the day, seven days a week.
"Bicycles enhance our officers' ability to more aggressively patrol targeted areas where it is difficult for a police squad to patrol.
"The targeted patrol areas will benefit from an enhanced police presence. We're stepping up our efforts to reduce criminal activity by, as I like to say, 'getting more boots on the ground,'" Mayor Moylan said.
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