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Bike patrol officers to receive community policing award

Posted by on December 5th, 2007 at 12:41 pm

On a bike-along in SE Precinct

SE Bike Patrol officers Pickett
and Quick on Hawthorne Blvd.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

Four Portland bike patrol officers will receive recognition for their community policing efforts at the Police Bureau’s annual awards ceremony next week.

Officers Phil Blanchard, Robert Quick, Anthony Zanetti and Robert Pickett will be recognized by Chief Rosie Sizer with a “Community Policing/Problem Solving” award for their work as members of the Southeast Bike Patrol unit.

When I asked Officer Pickett about this award, he remained typically humble,

“While I’ve ended up running with the bike patrol effort the longest and maybe the hardest, the origin of the patrol was a group effort among a number of officers…especially Officer Powell, who’s now with Central Precinct.”

Last December, I had the pleasure of joining Officers Quick and Pickett for a bike-along and I learned first-hand what an important role they play in our community.

In the past, Pickett has pushed the Bureau for more funding to increase the use of bike patrols. He has testified to City Council and last January he urged BikePortland readers to let City Hall and the Police Bureau know that we would like to see more bike patrols.

While I’m pleased to see Pickett and his crew honored, it would be even better to see a real effort to get more cops out of their cars and onto bikes. With these awards, the Bureau is recognizing the positive impact of bike patrols on our community so it seems like the perfect time to launch an initiative to expand their ranks. (Currently the SE Bike Patrol is the only one in the city (outside of downtown) and just a handful of officers are certified for bike patrols).

The bike patrol officers will be among several others that will receive awards at the ceremony. The event is open to the public and takes place Monday (12/10) at 9:00 am in the Portland Building auditorium (1120 SW 5th Ave., 2nd Fl).

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Martha S.
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Martha S.

Good to hear that their getting the recognition they deserve. It would indeed be good to see more cops on bikes.

Greg Raisman
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Greg Raisman

GO SE BIKE PATROL!!!

This is well-deserved recognition of one of the most successful community policing models this city has seen.

Thanks.
Greg Raisman
Community and School Traffic Safety Partnership
Portland Office of Transportation
(503) 823-1052

Jessica Roberts
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Jessica Roberts

Well, I\’ve been meaning to write a letter of commendation about PoPo for some time now, so this is as good an occasion as any. Just sent this letter; feel free to use any of it you like:

Chief Rosie Sizer
Portland Police Bureau
1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204

Dear Chief Sizer,

I am so pleased to hear that the Southeast Bike Patrol Unit has been selected to receive a “Community Policing/Problem Solving” award. I live in Southeast, and I am always glad to see officers Blanchard, Quick, Zanetti, and Pickett patrolling by bicycle in my neighborhood.

Before meeting the Bike Patrol officers, I had never had the opportunity to interact with police officers assigned to my neighborhood. It’s not possible to build relationships with someone who is driving by in a car, but bicycle officers project a friendly, approachable image, and they make me feel safer and like we are ‘on the same team.’

I want to specially commend Officer Robert Pickett, who, in addition to his duties with the Bike Patrol Unit, serves as an unofficial ambassador of the Portland Police Bureau to bicyclists around the city. He frequently attends events and meetings, participates in community discussions, and generally presents an outstandingly professional, reasonable, and well-informed image of the PPB to the community. His tireless work is building relationships between the Police Bureau and the bicycle community – a much-needed task at this time, when many bicyclists are upset about recent PPB actions and statements regarding bicyclists.

I hope that your recognition of the Southeast Bike Patrol Unit’s outstanding community policing efforts means that you will also support the growth of the Bike Patrol program. In the last decade, the number of bicyclists on Portland streets has quadrupled, and we would welcome a comparable growth in bicycle police officers to expand on the outstanding work that these four officers are already performing in Southeast Portland. I urge you to support and expand the Bike Patrol program — Portland would be proud to boast that we have the best Bicycle Patrol program in the country!

Sincerely,
Jessica Roberts

I know PoPo will try to play down his contributions, as usual, but he can\’t stop me from getting this in his personnel file…so there!

Jerrod
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Jerrod

I would love to learn about the reasons why bike patrolling is more advantagous than car patrolling. Any thoughts?

joe adamski
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joe adamski

The appreciation of a cop being on a bike is not unlike a cop on a horse. Seemingly quaint and non-threatening. I have had the pleasure of a mounted cop riding his horse against me as \’crowd control\’ in a peaceful legal PERMITTED demonstration. So don\’t get too warm and fuzzy about bike cops. They still are first and foremost, law enforcement officers. the bikes are just a tool.

Paul Tay
Guest

Ya think NYPD might be taking notes too? Naaaaaaaaah.

MJ
Guest

Officer Pickett has also been involved in reuniting a number of people with their stolen bikes.

Thanks for your work in recovering stolen bikes Officer Pickett.

a.O
Guest
a.O

I would love to learn about the reasons why bike patrolling is more advantagous than car patrolling. Any thoughts?

I am not a cop — despite Skidmark\’s accusations — but I can think of a cople right off hand: 1. It\’s easier to interact with people on foot, and unless you\’re interested primarily in motor vehicle traffic infractions, those are the people you\’re interested in re neighborhood police work. 2. You can cover more ground more quickly than those on foot.

Logan 5
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Logan 5

\”I would love to learn about the reasons why bike patrolling is more advantagous than car patrolling. Any thoughts?\”

The PI recently wrote another article about the Seattle bike cops. Up here, it\’s pretty helpful near Pike Place market where the stairs wind down to the waterfront in a way only MC Escher could have designed (it\’s also a generally sketchy area). I actually saw a pair of cops ride down once in pursuit of a purse snatcher. I remember they didn\’t expect the runner to stop and ended up running over him on one of the landings.

rq
Guest
rq

Their are lots of reasons why bikes are effective for enforcement. I\’ll just list a couple. You are riding at a speed that is slow enough to be more aware of your surroundings (as opposed to driving by in car and not hearing things that are happening nearby). We are able to access various locations that are not easily accessed on foot. People generally are not looking for cops on bikes. They watch for the cars and totally miss the bright yellow uniforms. I could go on, but these are a few reasons that bikes have advantages. But I would like to also stress that bikes can have disadvantages as well. They are a tool that can be extremely effective in certain situations.

Bryan
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Bryan

Officer Pickett recently recovered my stolen bike for me. I definitely appreciated the extra work he had to do to track me down as the owner of the bike. My bike had been stolen months ago and when it was recovered everything that would make it recognizable was stripped from the bike… It had different wheels, pedals and seat, and the serial number was scratched off, but he was able to reunite us by my description of the bike on finetoothcog

Mike
Guest
Mike

I am glad to see so many bike police around the town. A positive transition from cruisers to mountain bikes. Now if we could only phase the guns out too…