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Effective Policing

             As times change, so do the methods of criminals. Police are always looking for the quickest and most efficient way to catch the criminals. After studying three different forms of policing which include foot patrol police and motor vehicle police I found that bicycle police are not only quick to apprehend criminals, but they also help prevent crime because of their visual presence and their ability to maneuver quickly also aids them. One growing trend in law enforcement today is the utilization of mountain bicycles for patrol duty. Mountain bikes are quiet, cost efficient, extremely effective and are able to bridge the gap between the police cruiser and foot patrol. Studies have shown that citizens are more likely to approach a bike patrol officer over an officer in a car. This optimizes the department's philosophy of community policing.
             Bicycle officers are better able to use all their senses, including sight, smell and hearing, to detect and address criminal activity. For one thing, bicycles are quiet and can be deployed very quickly. Bikes can be operated on streets, sidewalks, alleys, trails, and in areas that are hard to reach in cars. Many times bicycle officers ride up on top of criminal activity in progress. Then escaping from the police becomes unlikely.
             The San Antonio Police Department implemented a bicycle patrol unit in 1990. The Downtown area of San Antonio is a high-populated area and has many activities and small business operating daily. The SAPD bicycle unit's mission is to be a visible deterrent to crime and an approachable source of assistance and information within the downtown area of San Antonio. The bike unit patrols the heavily populated downtown area both night and day assisting tourists, conventioneers, and local office workers and shoppers. San Antonio host many big events in the downtown area. Bicycle officers are able to mingle easily with big crowds, and can see over the heads of pedestrians and most vehicles.

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