Video: Multnomah County’s Bike Patrol in action

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

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.

Read more

Horse to bike officer transfer would save PPB $585,000 per year

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
On a bike-along in SE Precinct

Bike Patrol in action
on SE Hawthorne.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) could save $585,000 per year if they were to make good on a proposal to dismantle their Mounted Patrol Unit and transfer four officers to downtown bike detail. The savings would come from reducing the number of employees from seven (currently on mounted patrol) to four (that would be put on bike detail).

Since our story on this last Wednesday, The Oregonian and KGW have picked up on the news.

Police Chief Rosie Sizer told KGW that replacing horses with bikes is “an effective strategy.” From KGW:

Read more

Police Bureau budget cuts could lead to more officers on bikes

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Portland’s Mounted Patrol Unit.
(Photo: Police Bureau)

The Portland Police Police Bureau, like all City bureaus, is facing another year of budget cuts. The PPB must reduce their budget for the coming year by 2% (other, non public safety bureaus have to cut 4%). One idea that has been proposed is to dissolve their Mounted Patrol Unit and transfer the officers to bicycle patrol.

The idea was mentioned last night at the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting by acting Captain of the Traffic Division, Bryan Parman (who’s filling in for the still injured Eric Hendriks), and we confirmed the news today with the PPB’s Public Information Officer Mary Wheat.

Read more

Portland Police host bike cops for annual training conference

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Bike cops in Portland-4

Joe Scalise is a bike patrol officer
in Charlotte, NC and the training
coordinator for LEBA.
(Photos © J. Maus)

If the streets feel a bit safer this week, it’s because Portland is playing host to a Law Enforcement Bicycle Association (LEBA) training conference.

The Portland Police Bureau is hosting LEBA for one of their ongoing instructor training courses. Held throughout the country, the week-long course trains the officers in the many skills specific to doing police work on a bike.

I caught up with the group as they rode down Burnside (riding two abreast, taking the full lane, and nearly running a red light at MLK Blvd.) en route to a skills training session under the Morrison Bridge this morning. According to LEBA Training Coordinator Joe Scalise of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD, 15 officers from around the country are in Portland to sharpen their bike patrol skills.

Read more

Gresham will put more cops on bikes this summer

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
On a bike-along in SE Precinct

A Portland bike patrol unit
at work on SE Hawthorne in 2006.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The City of Gresham Police Department has just announced that they will bolster police bike patrols during the summer months.

Gresham PD spokesman Sgt. Claudio Grandjean says the move was made possible by utilizing School Resource Officers who are available to supplement regular patrol units during the summer months while kids are on break.

Four officers will begin the bike patrols on June 23rd and will continue until school starts in September. According to Grandjean their patrols will focus on the Springwater Corridor, parks, schools or any other areas identified by the patrol division as areas suitable for patrolling by bike.

Here in Portland, we could also use more bike patrol officers. Back in January of 2007, Officer Robert Pickett of the SE Portland Bicycle Patrol Unit wrote a guest article asking community members to write the Police Chief in support of adding more officers to the bike patrol program.

Gresham is a neighboring city to the east of Portland.

Bike patrol officers hailed for ‘immeasureable impact’ on the community

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Bike Patrol gets policing award-1-2.jpg

From R to L: Officers Phil Blanchard, Robert Pickett,
Robert Quick, Police Chief Sizer.
(Photos © Jonathan Maus)

At a ceremony this morning in downtown Portland, four members of the Southeast Precinct Bike Patrol Unit were among those recognized at the Chief’s Forum Awards — which intend to “reflect on the value of community policing partnerships”.

Read more

Bike patrol officers to receive community policing award

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
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.

Read more

Bike patrol officer asks for our support

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Happy Hour on Hawthorne

[Bike patrol officers stopped
by a Mocktails event
in September 2006.]

Do you think Portland would be a better place if we had more cops patrolling our neighborhoods on bikes rather than in cars and on motorcycles?

I do. I strongly believe that more bike patrols would be a great way to deal with our neighborhood safety issues.

Yet despite their effectiveness and popularity in the community, currently only two of the five Metro-area precincts (Central and Southeast) have an active bike patrol.

During my recent bike-along with Southeast Bike Patrol, the officers told me maybe only “a few dozen” officers have done bike patrol out of 900 or so total officers.

Read more