Bike patrol at Wheaton was established to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Public Safety’s work on campus. One benefit is that officers are able to access every area of the campus, often with a reduced response time in cases of emergency. For example, those who are emergency medical technicians are able to provide rapid assistance to sick or injured individuals anywhere on campus. In addition, bike patrol officers are more approachable to members of the campus community than are officers in cruisers.
Because of increased maneuverability, officers on bikes are more efficient at patrolling campus parking lots and walkways around residence halls and other buildings. They are particularly effective in crowded areas during special events such as Commencement, move-in weekend, and athletic events. Another advantage is that bike patrol officers, even in uniform, are often able to approach suspects virtually unnoticed.
There are currently nine officers in the Mountain Bike Unit. These officers attended a state training and certification program called COBWEB (Cops on Bikes with Education for Bicyclist). The intensive, three-day program requires officers to learn safe and effective bike patrol procedures and tactics.