POLICE Magazine Supplements

Civil Unrest 2017

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/796170

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Page 15 of 19

16 S P E C I A L R E P O R T: C I V I L U N R E S T It is October, the air is cooler, and the World Series is get- ting underway. e baseball fans gather as the innings draw on and the soon-to-be champs are swinging at the plate. e extra innings pile on and not only does the ex- citement build but so does the crowd rooting for the un- derdog. Officers are ready as the last out is played. e crowd cheers for its champions and heads to the streets. e throngs of people spill out into the roadways, causing chaos and mayhem. As local patrol units attempt to di- rect the masses, the crowd is obviously getting out of con- trol. 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 re- duce the amount of patrol resources needed for any given task. It is always the command staff's responsibility to assess what re- sources 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 e "bike fence," as the International Police Mountain Bike Association training refers to it, is the basic maneu- ver 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 subjects' actions. e bicycle can be placed down on the ground to cre- ate 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 line is not to be crossed, anyone who might pass through a bike fence could possibly face arrest for entering a crime scene or disobeying police commands. You can add to the bike fence by overlapping the front tire of one bicycle with the rear tire of the bicycle in front of it. is can be accom- plished with as few as two officers but can be greatly effective with multiple officers overlapping their wheels to create a larger barrier to move in front of large crowds. e number of officers is dictated by the size of the crowd and the environment it is in. Maneuvers are done in either a static or moving position. MOVING OR STATIC DISPLAY e static use of bicycles is usually seen at the end of roadways or at large intersections. ey can be placed across roadways, placing the bikes front wheel over rear wheel, in solid forma- tion that allows for a skirmish line to be created in a mobile field force situation. As long as the integrity of the formation is maintained, a unit can conduct arrests and maneuvers be- hind the line of bicycles effectively and safely. Mobile field force units that deploy accessory weapons or those that are on foot can move through the skirmish line to effect arrests. e static line of bicycles can be much more effective than patrol officers standing shield to shield. A group of bicycles can be placed front tire to rear tire, the officers can move back several feet, and the integrity of the line is still maintained. A moving group of bicycle officers can be used in the same manner as most mobile field force formations. ey can be po- sitioned in a wedge formation, forcing groups to move laterally Officers can easily create a "bike fence" by lining up their bicycles end to end, creating a barrier. PHOTOS: CHRISTIAN BAILEY BICYCLES FOR CROWD

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