SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU)- The Sioux City Police Department is bringing back a program it says will help build community engagement. Bicycle patrol has returned to Sioux City after nearly three decades.
The money for the program came from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was used to buy new bikes and to help cover the pay of the officers who patrol on them.
Sioux City cyclist Jerry Frost has been an avid bike rider most of his life.
“I like going down to the riverfront, and down the paths there. You know in the area mostly,” said Frost.
He is one of many people eager to see Sioux City police officers out riding around on two wheels instead of four.
“Sometime you may even run into something that you weren’t expecting, and having them there is pretty cool,” said Frost.
More than 20 Sioux City police officers have been trained as bike patrol officers. They will not be handing out tickets, but instead, they will be building relationships.
“Our purpose is to be out with the community. If we do happen to see an infarction that needs enforcement, we can but that is not our primary goal with the bikes,” said Officer Shawn Robinson with the Sioux City Police Department.
Bike officers will focus their efforts on neighborhoods and parks.
“It’s fun to be able to get out and get some of the fresh air and exercise and then meet with different folks,” said Robinson.
The five bikes purchased through the grant are equipped with headlights, taillights, sirens and first-aid kits.
“Just like everything else that we have on our belts, it’s just one more tool that we have and how to use it in those cases,” Robinson.
The department hopes to grow the program and get more officers involved. It plans to hold another training session for officers early next spring.
The police department will use another part of the Department of HUD’s grant to host bike rodeos. Those events will help teach kids bike safety and improve their skills. The police plan to host two rodeos. The dates have not yet been set but will be announced on the department’s Facebook page and website.