Drumheller RCMP hit the beat as they up bike patrols to increase interaction and enhance visibility.
You may have noticed Drumheller’s RCMP patrolling around Drumheller on bikes during Canada Day.
Drumheller RCMP introduced the bikes to increase surveillance of the valley.
RCMP members must complete a five day course from the Law Enforcement Bicycle Association (LEBA) to learn the skills to safely bike while policing.
“Most people learn how to ride a bike when they are a child. So the police bike course expands on what we already know with a bike. We learn how to interact with the public on the bike, how to react when someone is trying to attack us when on the bike and how to ride slowly through crowds. Also how to repair the bike when we are alone,” says Constable Craig Nelson.
The course also teaches members what precautions to take while riding.
“When we are biking we wear helmets for safety, but the strap usually goes around the face. We don’t
When we are in a police car, it is harder to talk to the public. When we are on a bike we are biking past them, waving at them, talking to them. We get off the bike at the skatepark and talk to some kids, it’s a really effective way of doing patrols and increasing our visibility in the community.” Cst. Craig Nelson Drumheller RCMP
want someone to grab a hold of that. These are precautions and tactics to mitigate risks to make sure we are not injured when in an altercation with somebody.” Constable Nelson told The Mail that people usually are not looking for police officers on bikes, and this gives them the advantage of surprise.
“Every once in a while we have a rash of people stealing from cars. They go around and see if cars are unlocked and steal things from inside them. It is very hard to catch that type of criminal because if they see or hear any kind of car coming, they will quickly put their hands in their pockets and continue walking down the street. If we are able to bike up, and surprise them, then maybe we will be able to see something that they shouldn’t be doing or catch them in the act of committing the crime and make an arrest.”
The RCMP have also used the bikes to interact with the public more.
“When we are in a police car, it is harder to talk to the public. When we are on a bike we are biking past them, waving at them, talking to them. We get off the bike at the skatepark and talk to some kids, it’s a really effective way of doing patrols and increasing our visibility in the community, as well as interacting with them.”
The Drumheller RCMP will be increasing their bike patrols for the remainder of the summer.
Constables Rachel Pergunas, Kelly Zacharkiw, Chris MacEacherin and Eric Doucette pose with locals Logan Pratt and Justin Wright while patrolling on Canada Day.