The Green Bay Police Department (GBPD) in Wisconsin has been using electric bicycles, or eBikes, to replace regular mountain bikes for its community police program. It hopes to eventually have all its community police officers on an eBike, according to Bosch.
“They have the option of taking out a squad car, but we tell them they should be walking neighborhoods, biking, and engaging the community,” said Captain John Laux of GBPD’s District C.
Traditional bicycles worked when officers were patrolling smaller neighborhoods, but the GBPD moved to policing larger areas spread over several square miles. Getting from one end of the district to the other became problematic.
After researching eBike options, in 2016, Laux bought a couple of Cannondale eBikes powered by the Bosch eBike system to try out. The officers loved them, Laux reported. The GBPD bought two more eBikes.
“EBikes give our officers the ability to respond quickly from a longer distance, and when they get there, they aren’t exhausted — and an exhausted officer is a vulnerable officer,” Laux said. “The eBikes with the electrical assist takes exhaustion out of the equation, so officers can be as effective as they would be coming out of a squad car.”
Police-grade eBikes have a higher price tag than a standard police mountain bike, and the PD financed the new bikes through a combination of community fundraising and grants.
Laux’s vision is to staff all 14 community police officers with eBikes.
*Updated 6/38/18 with the corrected number of bicycles.