BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — Maumee bicycle officers will be rolling much faster thanks to the new electric bikes they are riding.
Three Recon Power Bikes arrived on August 24. The new bikes provide battery power assistance that allows officers to travel up to 30 mph while conserving energy when they arrive on scene.
“If you are going on a call from one end of the city to another end, having the e-bikes will help so the officers are not dead tired when they get there,” said Assistant Police Chief Michael Love.
The new bikes have been outfitted with lights and sirens. While electric bikes retail for about $4,000, the city invested $3,795 per bike as part of the 2021 capital budget.
The batteries in the bikes can be turned on or off depending on the situation. For example, they would be turned on while responding to a call or climbing a hill. The officers normally ride 30 to 50 miles per shift and under normal use, the charged battery will last a full shift.
The Maumee Police Division implemented a bicycle patrol in the 1990s. Currently, 12 Maumee officers have completed the 40-hour training certification through the International Police Mountain Bike Association. Having officers on bicycle patrol is most beneficial when policing large community events such as the Maumee Summer Fair, Fourth of July fireworks and the Rib Off, Love said.
“In large crowds, our officers can make it through areas of people and get to places quicker than a car can,” he said.
The bicycles are also used in crime prevention efforts for specific situations such as a high number of vehicle break-ins or burglaries in a specific area, Love said.
“They can go in those areas quietly,” Love said. “Our guys on midnight will go out on a bike because a thief is looking for a cruiser, not a bike officer to sneak up on them.”