HOPKINTON — Chief Joseph Bennett is pleased to share a video highlighting the Hopkinton Police Department’s recently revamped bike patrol unit.
Sgt. Aaron O’Neil and Officer Jay Deiana, both members of the bike patrol, are interviewed in the video.
The bike patrol unit was originally started through the use of a community policing grant over a decade ago. It was recently revamped by a group of officers in the spring. Since then, the unit has worked to train officers, update uniforms and repair bikes.
“We have a lot of great young officers coming on and I felt that it was a great opportunity to get our new officers out there in the public and give them an opportunity to be on the bike, to be seen and introduce themselves,” Sgt. O’Neil said.
Over the past few months, bike patrol officers have attended Cops on Bicycles with Education for Bicyclists (C.O.B.W.E.B.) courses offered by the Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC). The unit currently consists of seven officers — four who recently attended training and joined the unit and three officers who were previously part of the bike patrol.
Depending on staffing, officers will go out on bike patrols in Hopkinton neighborhoods to meet and talk with residents. Bike patrol officers keep stickers, pens and pencils with them to give out to kids they see on patrol. They also wear safety gear which allows them to talk about bicycle safety with the kids they see on patrol, as well as set a good example for biking safely.
The bicycles also allow officers to go to areas they normally can’t with a cruiser, such as rail trails, the starting area of the Boston Marathon and other large events.
Additionally, the bike patrol can perform law enforcement functions as officers have medical supplies as well as radar equipment for traffic enforcement.
“We’re very excited to have the bike patrol active in the department and Hopkinton’s neighborhoods and I hope to see it grow in the coming years,” Chief Bennett said. “It’s a great tool that allows our officers to positively interact with and meet residents, especially kids in the community.”
In the future, the department hopes to send additional officers to training courses and get new bikes. The department currently has two active bikes which are both over 20 years old. With additional bikes, the bike unit will be able to send multiple dual bike patrols out at once, as well as send more bike officers to events in the community.