Written by Dwight Bachman
Willimantic, Conn. -- Police officers from Derby, Milford, Norwich, University of Vermont and the Connecticut State Police have converged on the campus of Eastern Connecticut State University to learn how to effectively ride a bike while on patrol. Eastern police officers Jim Salvatore and Jene Comstock are also participating in the class.
Lt. Thomas Madera, operations commander for Eastern's Police Department, is the lead instructor for the class. Police officers will be taught how to maneuver through tight spaces; climb curbs and stairs; how to ride in traffic; learn proper use of gears; and effectively use their brakes. They will also learn defensive tactics and how to balance at slow speeds.
"Riding a bicycle may seem easy," said Madera. "After all, most everyone has ridden a bike before. And we've all fallen off many times. Police officers whose primary duty is to ensure public safety have a heightened sense of duty and responsibility to hone the skill of bike riding, as they often find themselves in crisis situations. The bike also enables officers to more easily engage in community policing -- interacting more closely with individuals; gaining their trust; and letting them know we are their friends and caretakers, there to ensure public comfort and safety as much as possible."
The bike class runs this week from May 20-24. Classes will also be taught to officers from other police departments on June 10-14 and July 15-19. For more information about the bicycle classes, contact Madera at firstname.lastname@example.org or (860)-465-5310 or (860) 465-0007.