In the 1990's, the Egg Harbor Township Police Deparment began using a limited number of bicycles for supplemental patrol in the township to increase visibility. Shortly after implementation, the use of bicycles expanded to include community-based policing and increased visibility in shopping, commercial and residential areas of the township.
Today, there are a total of 9 bicycle officers who are deployed on a daily basis in all 5 of the Patrol Areas that the EHTPD covers. All officers have completed a basic Bicycle Patrol School, which provides officers with five days of intensive, certified training in pursuit bicycle handling, bicycle safety, night patrol techniques, shooting, and maintenance.
Bicycle patrol provides greater visibility in high crime areas that are more difficult to patrol by motor vehicle, including public housing, retail centers, and recreation areas of the township. Officers have easier access to congested areas than officers in motor vehicles and cover a larger area than officers on foot. Bicycles offer an effective approach to crime surveillance due to their decreased visibility.
Community and public relations have been improved through the use of bicycles; the improved public interaction has helped improve officer morale, as well as decreased sick-time, while increasing productivity. In some situations, bicycle patrols have proven to be more cost-effective than motor vehicles.
Bicycle Patrol Duties:
Response to calls for service
Bicycle safety education
Bicycles provide tremendous air quality and public health benefits. It is anticipated that the use of bicycles in patrol applications will generate a reduction of vehicle miles traveled. In most instances, the bicycles replace motor vehicles for patrol for several hours per day or longer.
We look to make the most effective use of our existing resources through programs like our Bicycle Unit, where patrol vehicles are equipped with Bicycles, which Officers will ride through neighborhoods or other limited access areas at times during their regular shift.
EHTPD Utilizes the following types of bicycles: XXX
Current EHTPD Bicycle Unit Members
Sgt. Robert Smith
Ofc. James MacPherson
Ofc. Gary Johnson
Ofc. Charles Davenport
Ofc. Christopher Leary
Ofc. Raymond Wilson
Ofc. Paul Janetta
Ofc. Ronald Koons
Ofc. Tahsin Chowdhury