KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — For the University of Tennessee Police, sometimes getting from point A to point B can be easier said than done. Especially when it comes to navigating large crowds.
That’s why the university’s police department provides its officers with a bicycle training program. The 40-hour training exercise provides officers with the skills needed to better patrol campus and game days using two wheels instead of four.
“The purpose of the course is to teach you not how to ride a bicycle,” says UTPD Corporal Ben Doty. “You should already know how to ride when you get here. It’s to teach you skills.”
Those skills are designed to prepare officers for all kinds of scenarios.
“Riding a bike as a kid is very different from where it is as a law enforcement officer,” says officer Edgard Amaro Carrion.
Besides logging over 80 miles of training on greenways, sidewalks, and streets, the course provides officers tactics on how to tackle stairs, curbs, emergency stops and more.
“We’re able to stop very fast. We’re able to cut quickly and make very very quick short response movements to be able to continue forward and not cause an accident or damage to someone else,” says Amaro Carrion.
Skills that keep officers and pedestrians safe, but also improve response times during high traffic times.
“Now we can go places where our vehicle cannot. So, my response time is quicker because I don’t have to stick just to the roadway. I have a pedestrian walkway, grass, stairs. All that is something I can access on a bicycle,” UTPD officer Rozzie Bomar tells six news.
That’s just part of the benefits of patrolling on two tires instead of four.
“It just allows us a much cleaner interaction than hoping out of a cruiser,” says Amaro Carrion.
“It’s a little bit of a friendlier aspect of the law enforcement community,” adds Coportal Doty.