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  News from the Hill    
         
   

Introducing The Bike Squad

The College’s department of public safety has come up with a new way of patrolling the campus and increasing its visibility among students. The department’s “Bike Patrol” became operational last May, just before Commencement. The brainchild of Public Safety Director Jeffrey Wilcox, the patrol will be eventually operating on a 24-hour basis.

Lt. Thomas Foley, a longtime road biking enthusiast, took the idea and developed the program. Foley consulted with regional police departments and universities with existing bike patrols. He then enrolled two of his officers, John Fournier and John Melkonian, in COBWEB (“Cops on Bikes with Education for Bicyclists”) training. “They enjoyed the class,” Foley said, “and they got a lot of information.”T

he patrol uses a specially designed policing bike known as the Mongoose which features 24 gears, a necessity for a campus made of steep hills. Foley feels the bike patrol will help improve public safety’s response time. “You can get to places on campus a lot faster,” he says. “You can go over grass and down stairs if necessary. But the other thing is that it gets involved with the community policing aspect. We’re highly visible. It reassures people that we’re around. It brings us into the campus community.”

Foley laughs at some initial perceptions regarding his new unit. “A lot of people come up and say, ‘these officers must be getting some sort of punishment.’ But that’s not the case at all. I do a lot of biking outside of the school and these hills make you better, build up your cardiovascular system.”
So far, the bike patrol is a success among the students. “They seem to accept the bikes well,” said Foley. “I think the students are energized by them.”


 

Lt. Thomas Foley

Lt. Thomas Foley


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