The Nottawasaga OPP began its bike patrol unit in 1998. The unit was enhanced in 2003 with the purchase of two specially equipped mountain bikes. Over the years the officer hours have fluctuated in dedicated hours to riding and being out in the community. Today, the Bike Unit has a total of 9 police equipped bikes and 10 officers trained. The unit utilized platoon and community service officer dedicating a high number of hours of patrol for this summer of 2017. They ride from April to October.
about the unit
The Bike Unit addresses the need to increase the level of service to the community in a cost effective and environmentally-friendly manner. Bicycle patrols increase the patrol range of the officers. They can ride into isolated spots, around obstacles and generally approach criminal activity before being spotted. It addresses specific crime issues that officers in vehicles cannot address as adequately as an officer on a bike. This includes thefts from vehicles, trespassing at night and liquor and drug offences. The Bike Unit increases the visibility of the Nottawasaga OPP and subsequently helps to reduce crime and the fear of crime.
Officers who utilize bicycles as part of their patrol function have shown that contact with members of the community is less threatening, less authoritarian and less confrontational than with other forms of patrol, making them more approachable. Each day the Bicycle Unit officers are actively involved with the public, talking to the people, actively soliciting input and information from the community while carrying out the normal duties. Bike Unit officers are visible to the community when they should be and invisible when they need to be.