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Sudbury police bicycle patrols hit the road
SUDBURY -- Despite the weather, police officers in Greater Sudbury are using two wheels instead of four to patrol streets, trails and parks.
The bike patrol team pedals many kilometres each day doing enforcement and engaging with the community using a form of transportation that is very different from a police cruiser.
"The focus of bike patrol is to have the opportunity to engage with the community. It's much more approachable and proactive. Obviously we can be in areas cruisers are not typically known to have access to," said Constable Cheryl Kennelly of the Greater Sudbury Police Service.
The bike patrols run from May to October.
"We patrol the downtown core, as well as several other neighbourhood, parks, trails, and areas within Greater Sudbury enforcing laws, being proactive in preventing crime, and engaging with the public,” said Constable Stefany Mussen of the Greater Sudbury Police Service.
Right now, a big part of that engagement is encouraging people to follow Covid-19 precautionary measures.
"Some of us are assigned to the education and enforcement team for the Covid response. So our main message is making sure that people are practising safe physical distancing, not gathering in more than groups of 5, and keeping them out of parks and places that are prohibited for the time being," said Mussen.
Out on patrol officers also promote bike safety.
"When we see a young child on a bicycle, it allows us that opportunity to engage with them about bicycle safety, wearing their helmet, making sure they do checks with their bikes, and of course how to ride their bike on the road so they are visible to drivers," said Kennelly.
Eight officers are currently trained on bike patrol with another 7 joining the unit this summer. On average, each officer pedals between 25 and 30 kilometres a day.