LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
Friday, December 10, 1999
In the 1970’s the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Pacific Area Division started using a limited number of bicycles for patrol along Venice Beach to increase visibility during peak season. In the 1980’s, the use of bicycles expanded to include community-based policing and to increase visibility in congested areas of the City. By 1990, most divisions of the LAPD were using bicycles, so the department established the Bicycle Coordination Unit to begin organizing the divisional bicycle patrols and to perform basic maintenance and repairs.
Today, between 200 – 250 officers are deployed on a daily basis in all eighteen geographic divisions of the LAPD. Approximately 1,500 officers have completed the LAPD Bicycle Patrol School, which provides officers with 5 days of intensive certified training in pursuit bicycle handling, bicycle safety, night patrol techniques, shooting, and maintenance. The LAPD has successfully expanded the use of bicycles for patrol applications, including gang suppression, narcotics enforcement, traffic enforcement, patrol support, response to radio calls and citizen stops, community policing, special details, bicycle safety education, special events, crime suppression and undercover/surveillance. The bicycle patrol has provided the LAPD with greater visibility in high crime areas that are more difficult to patrol by motor vehicle, including but not limited to public housing, retail centers, and beaches.
The City, through the Environmental Affairs Department, was able to leverage City AB 2766 Mobile Source Air Pollution Reductions funds to secure two grants from the SCAQMD Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC). The total funding of $271,000 enabled the City to purchase bikes for several City departments. In particular, 135 bikes have been procured for the LAPD Bike Patrol. By utilizing bicycles rather than patrol vehicles, there will be significant air emissions benefits.
This is the first time the LAPD has been able to acquire bikes customized to meet the Departments requirements (versus donated equipment) with the associated tools and safety equipment.
For Release 9:05 am PST
December 10, 1999