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The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Al­lie Ruck­man The Drumheller Mail

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.

sub­mit­ted

Con­sta­bles Rachel Per­gu­nas, Kelly Zacharkiw, Chris MacEacherin and Eric Doucette pose with lo­cals Lo­gan Pratt and Justin Wright while pa­trolling on Canada Day.

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