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Equipment and Uniforms for Bike Patrol

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 52 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2004 Pages: 78-80,82
Ken King
Date Published
May 2004
4 pages
This article recommends features for the duty belt and uniform of members of the police bicycle patrol unit.
The duty belt should be of nylon or synthetic construction, which allows flexibility and ease of cleaning. Gun holsters should be the same as for motor patrol officers. A quality holster is more likely than a cheaper holster to prevent accidental unholstering during crashes or falls. Flashlights should be compact. Whether rechargeable or not, a smaller, compact light, such as the Stinger, works well for bike patrol. Batons should be compact as well. A collapsible baton works well in bicycle patrol applications. Other duty-belt equipment considerations are the use of featherweight handcuffs to reduce weight and a radio earpiece and hands-free microphone. To provide consistency when alternating between bike and motor patrol, all items on the duty belt should have the same location for bike patrol as for motor patrol. Uniforms should be specifically designed for bicycle patrol. Most bike-patrol uniforms are made with Coolmax or other similar fabrics that breathe and dry quickly when perspiration-soaked or rain-soaked. The uniforms should be stretchable and designed with special taper and double thickness where they are likely to rub, so as to prevent wear and damage. Uniforms should have police identifiers; reflective materials to increase visibility; and a combination of contrasting colors, retro-reflective materials, and active lighting on the bicycle. To save money, uniforms are available in a summer and winter combination. Most vendors offer jackets with removable liners and sleeves, along with pants with legs that zip off into shorts. Purchasing only one uniform that can be used year-round produces significant cost savings. Helmets, gloves, and eye protection are mandatory equipment to be worn at all times. Cycling shoes protect the bottom of the feet from pedal pressure.


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