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Police run undercover “bike missions”

Posted by on November 4th, 2005 at 2:28 pm

At a meeting last week between the BTA, the Portland Police Traffic Division and citizen bike advocates, Commander Bill Sinnott told us about a cool new program they’ve started.

In recent weeks they have carried out undercover “bike missions” that put officers on bikes in order to observe and ticket motorists that violate laws and make unsafe maneuvers.

This is far beyond PR lip service, and shows they care enough about bike safety to actually put themselves out there and see what it’s like from our perspective. Despite what your feelings are about how the police treat cyclists, you have to appreciate this program.

Commander Sinnott has shown interest in possibly having me join him on one of these missions (I still need to confirm this with him). If I do go, I’ll snap photos, take notes and report back…stay tuned!

If you want to comment on this program, call (503) 823-2103 and press “6” to leave a message.

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6 Comments
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    Andy November 4, 2005 at 3:21 pm

    Ok – that is cool. It’s like making a citizen’s arrest but real.. and not dorky.

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    Fritz November 4, 2005 at 9:50 pm

    I wish bike police all over the nation could do something like this. This is absolutely awesome that the PoPo does this.

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    Mark November 6, 2005 at 9:08 am

    This is just too sweet. We need this here in St. Louis in a big way.

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    Esther Harlow November 16, 2005 at 6:03 pm

    Hey, just wanted to alert you that evidently they (undercover bike cops) are also, for better or worse, ticketing bicyclists who run reds/stops, about 3-4 bicyclists at a time. My partner’s coworker got a $30 ticket today or yesterday. I’ll try to find out more details about when/where it happened …

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    Mike January 25, 2006 at 2:25 pm

    The $30 value you stated couldn’t have been for a stop sign, I (and many others) just got a $242 ticket for failing to stop at a stop sign in the central circle of Ladd’s Addition. A lousy start to the day.

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    Jon July 20, 2006 at 1:31 pm

    I’m curious about the reality of this. How do they issue the citation? I’m picturing in my head:
    Typical looking courier dude get’s cut off by typical looking soccer mom/SUV/cell phone usser. Courier dude tears off street clothes to expose official “POLICE” cyclist uniform. Downtown chase ensues. Panicked soccer mom finally submits to BikeCop, calmly pulls to side of road. final scene, BikeCop cautiously approaches perpetrators vehicle with concealed blue flashers on helmet?
    That’s the next best thing to Superman, where do I sign up?

    Seriously, do the police take pictures of perpetrator and mail a ticket, call for a nearby cruiser, what?

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