Putting a police officer on a bicycle has many advantages. It makes the officer more approachable by the public without the car doors and windows forming a barrier between the officer and citizen, allowing for more informal interactions. This approachability augments the Cumberland Police Department's commitment to community policing, working in partnership with the community we serve. The bicycle
also attracts children to officers, which creates a learning situation for safe riding discussions.
A bicycle also has access to areas that a car cannot go, such as trails, side yards and some alleys. This broadens our patrol abilities, especially when it comes to pursuing suspects who are on foot. A bicycle is also less obtrusive and more low-key than a patrol car. It allows the officer to approach a situation without being observed and without as great an interruption in "normal" activity than driving a car into the area.
To be qualified for the bike team, an officer must attend an intensive four-day training. During this training the officer is taught advanced riding skills, defensive and offensive riding strategies and general bike maintenance.