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Local RCMP ready to roll out new community policing initiative


TRURO - Buckling on helmets at a bike shop on Robie Street, Cpl. Marc Rose and Const. Lori Thorne were bubbling with excitement.

cutline: Jeff Simms, owner of Bike Money on Robie Street in Truro, outfitted two RCMP patrol bikes for the Colchester County District RCMP service, which were picked up on Friday by Cpl. Marc Rose, Staff-Sgt. John Berry and Const. Lori Thorne.

The Colchester County District RCMP officers were preparing to receive the first of two bikes outfitted for police service patrols across the county.

"It's a great opportunity for us," said Rose. "We look forward to seeing the community out, hopefully they'll have no problem coming up and talking to us. If they have any questions on the bike regulations and rules they'll come and see us and the key thing is let's see everyone is wearing a helmet. That's what we're looking for, things like that."

The corporal said several local officers have completed bike patrol training, with more planned, which includes reaching a level of physical training, techniques for navigating down stairs and other evasive maneuvers, learning how to use the bike as a tool and even doing drills with firearms.

"It's quite extensive," he said. There are officers trained for bike patrol duty in neighbouring detachments and, Rose said, there is a fairly large bike initiative in other parts of the province such as southwest Nova Scotia. He said many jurisdictions across the country use bike patrols very effectively, particularly during parades, policing trails and parks or during festivals and exhibitions.

To launch the initiative locally two bikes were purchased and outfitted for patrol service by Bike Monkey but more may be added in the future.

"The main thing you are looking for a bike patrol is ... silent equipment in many cases and they are also looking for equipment that is going to be less serviceable that is going to be fairly robust," said the officer.

Rose is no stranger to bike patrols, having worked on them during his time at the Pictou County District RCMP.

He said there are many benefits to bike patrols such as gaining access to areas that are crowded with people, where vehicles may have difficulty getting through, and they are effective for traffic control and crowd control.

"It's a very effective tool for members to get close undetected," said Rose. "You don't see people on a bike. They get in quick; silently they get in places a car can't get. It's very useful."

Bike patrols will service downtown Bile Hill, where there are parks, recreation trails and lots of students in the area, along with being used in other areas of the county such as Tatamagouche and Stewiacke.

"I think it's an excellent opportunity for everyone," he said. "We can get out, up close and personal with people on the street and talk to them ... and there is less of a barrier. There is no window, there is no fast car passing by. People can wave us down. People can engage with us much quicker."

The first two patrol bikes were picked up on Friday at the Robie Street business. Rose and Thorne introduced them to the community by riding them back to the detachment.

 

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