POLICE Magazine

APR 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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26 POLICE APRIL 2019 It is October, the air is cooler, and the World Series is getting underway. The baseball fans gather as the in- nings draw on and the soon-to-be champs are swinging at the plate. The extra innings pile on and not only does the excitement build but so does the crowd rooting for the underdog. Officers are ready as the last out is played. The crowd cheers for its champions and heads to the streets. The throngs of people spill out into the roadways, causing chaos and mayhem. As local patrol units attempt to direct the masses, the crowd is obviously getting out of control. Believe it or not, this may be an ideal time to bring in the bicycle unit. A large crowd can be quelled and moved by a properly trained bicycle officer. A well-tuned unit with proper training can reduce the amount of patrol resources needed for any given task. It is always the command staff's responsibility to assess what resources will be used for different types of incidents, but a well-trained bicycle unit can be an effective tool in a variety of situations, including those in need of crowd control. THE BIKE FENCE The "bike fence," as the International Police Mountain Bike Association training refers to it, is the basic maneuver in any bicycle contact. e bicycle is simply placed between the officer and their contact. e officer stands on the non-drive side of the bicycle. e bike can either be positioned with the kickstand down or up, with the officer maintaining control of the bike with both hands. If the officer is placing the kickstand down, they can move laterally to keep the subject at bay. It provides a safety barrier for the officer and an increased reactionary gap for any potential threats. e officer then can move the bicycle itself, laterally or forward, to escort the subject away or direct the subject by mirroring the subject's actions. e bicycle can be placed down on the ground to create more distance with an aggressive subject. e bike fence is also the legal boundary between you and your contact. An appropriately outfitted bicycle with police insignias and markings can serve as more than just a mode of transportation. When placed appropriately, the bicycle can serve as a clear demarcation of where not to go. If bicycle offi- cers use good communication and properly articulate that the PHOTO: CHRISTIAN BAILEY BICYCLES FOR CROWD CONTROL A well-tuned, properly trained bicycle unit can effectively manage mass gatherings of people. CHRISTIAN BAILEY

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