Bike cops are returning to patrol Bellevue streets
The Bellevue Police Department’s bike patrol is back in action.
The Bellevue City Council recently approved funding for four officers, and a supervisor, to pedal through town.
The former Bellevue bike patrol unit was eliminated during 2011 budget cuts. And yes, bike patrol officers can give you a ticket if you break the law, even if you are in a car and they are on a bike.
Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett believes the new bike patrols will allow them to respond to the continued growth with flexibility and visibility.
“Such units are proven to be an effective tool, and will ensure that Bellevue maintains its position as a safe community, which is foundational to many other city goals and priorities,” Mylett said.
Many advocates believe bike patrols improve community relations, potentially save money and have environmental benefits. These new officers will conduct patrols in areas not easily accessible by police vehicles, including: parks, trails, the waterfront, wooded areas and around special events. Not to mention areas with a high volumes of foot- and vehicle-traffic, such as downtown Bellevue.
“I would like to thank the City Council and City Manager Brad Miyake for their tremendous display of support in restoring funding for our bicycle patrol unit,” Mylett said. “This proactive unit will be a powerful tool in our downtown core as well as our many parks and our bike paths and trails.”
Bellevue officer Seth Tyler agrees and is ready to welcome the bikes back.
“We should have the bike patrol officers identified by the end of January,” Tyler said. “They will hit the streets this spring after training.”
Bike patrol units receive additional training in bicycle handling and law enforcement procedures pertaining to managing arrests and pursuits while on a bike. For the Bellevue Police Department, the new bike patrol mission is: Reduce crime, reduce the fear of crime and enhance the quality of life for residents.