CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- More pedals on patrol: that's the plan of the Chippewa Falls Police Department as it ramps up its bike patrol squad for this summer.
The Chippewa Falls Police Department recently added a new mountain bike to its ranks and sent one of its officers to specialized training for handling police work on a bike. The goal is to build up the departments bike patrol to its largest level yet.
Officer Brian Flug is pushing the pedals, leading the charge on the bike patrol as the department ups its efforts on two wheels this summer.
“We currently have five on the bike team and we are going to add probably two to three more,” Officer Flug said.
Officer Flug just got back from specialized training for police on patrol on mountain bikes at UW-Oshkosh. That training teaches officers how to handle a new type of patrol.
“A lot of the training is designed to be in a highly populated area. So it’s slow moving training showing that you can work around a lot of people,” Flug said.
The CFPD says it relies heavily on bike patrols during the weekend of the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, allowing officers to get to places where squad cars can’t go.
On bike patrol, officers can travel anywhere from 20-35 miles in a shift, but being on bike patrol means more than just writing tickets it's a new way to connect with the public.
“A lot of times when you are on bike patrol you are communicating with people and a lot of kids if they see you they want to stop and talk to you because you are an officer on a bike,” Flug added.
The department says officers will be patrolling on bikes a few times a week this summer with patrols in the afternoon and evenings.