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Video: Multnomah County’s Bike Patrol in action

Posted by on October 4th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Multnomah County parole officers at work.
(Still from video. Watch it below)

As Portland Mercury reporter Sarah Mirk shared back in May, Multnomah County’s parole officers that work cases downtown now use bicycles for their regular patrols. Today the County unveiled an in-house video of the officers in action.

According to the County’s Community Justice District Manager Pat Schreiner, the bike patrols are a six month pilot program. To get the patrols started, the Portland Police Bureau donated bike training and certification for four parole officers.

Besides the more positive community interactions bike-mounted officers have with their clients, Schreiner says one unexpected benefit of the bike patrol program is that they’re “not driving cars, burning gasoline, and finding places to park. With bicycles, it’s a healthy, green alternative for our officers to get around.” A staffer with the non-profit transitional housing and services organization Central City Concern said having officers on bikes is preferable to cars because the latter can be “intimidating” to clients.

Kudos to the County for embracing the power of bicycles as community building tools and as more efficient, affordable and sensible options for some of their patrols.

Watch the video below…

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9 thoughts on “Video: Multnomah County’s Bike Patrol in action”

  1. Avatar Loren says:

    This is great, but will they soldier on through the winter?

  2. Avatar q`Tzal says:

    Entice/bribe the officers: allow them to pocket 1/2 of the mileage cost for not driving the Ford POS.
    Profit motive FTW.

  3. Avatar Ethan says:

    I’m sure it was no big deal for the Police Bureau to loan out some bikes, they rarely seem to use them.

    It is always an amazing thing to watch the Portland police roar around bike events with cars and motorcycles . . . it seems so at odds with any notion of “community policing” I have ever heard.

  4. Avatar Spiffy says:

    love the cheesy 70’s cop music at the beginning…

  5. Avatar Jack says:

    “Schreiner says one unexpected benefit of the bike patrol program is that they’re ‘not driving cars, burning gasoline, and finding places to park.'”

    Unexpected benefit?

  6. Avatar peejay says:

    I second Ethan’s comment. The PPB is definitely backsliding into the comfort of the cushy patrol car seat. All the reasons why a motorized police force is less effective are still true, but budget cutbacks make decision-makers really quite foolish, don’t they?

  7. Avatar Speedster says:

    So now we know that someone who works for Fox Spy store is on parole for something.

  8. Avatar trail abuser says:

    Not the same Fox:
    It’s actually a logo for motorcycle racing protective gear

  9. Avatar celticnorse says:

    I think the big benefit will be the mental well being of the parole officers. I have worked in Mult. Co. DCJ in a support function. These folks don’t have the most rewarding job. Day after day they are dealing with sex offenders, repeat offenders, drug addicts, all kinds of people. They often seem stressed and burned out sitting in their cubes with piles of paperwork. I think the ability to get out and get fresh air and exercise will provide huge gains for morale.

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