In 1996, the Little Silver Police Department assembled its first Bicycle Patrol Unit. The purpose behind this unit was to create an alternative to the conventional form of police patrol which has always been by vehicle. Our agency, as well as other participating bicycle units from around the country, quickly realized the advantages to having a Bicycle Patrol Unit. Most notably, these patrols allowed officers a much greater opportunity to be accessible to the public. Early on, as is still the case today, most citizens are not accustomed to seeing their local police officers on bicycles. Officers who are assigned to patrol on the bicycles respond to calls for service just like any other police officer does. The only difference is that they are on bicycles instead of in patrol cars. Generally speaking, bicycle patrols are used to supplement regularly assigned motor patrols so that response times are not impeded.
The Bicycle Patrol Unit also creates some strategic alternatives for fighting crime. Officers are often able to ride up on suspicious activity, especially at night, without alerting the parties involved. This proves to be very beneficial especially as our agency continues to seek new and creative ways to combat property crimes such as theft from vehicles and criminal mischief (vandalism) in and around the borough.
Bicycle officers are also utilized for special events throughout the year such as parades, marathons, mischief night and interaction with the public and business owners in the downtown business area.
Officers are assigned to the Bicycle Patrol Unit as an additional duty alongside their normal work assignment. The Unit consists of approximately ten (10) officers who are currently assigned to positions that include patrol officers, supervisors, administrators and special officers. Officers who are interested in becoming a member of this Unit must successfully pass a basic operators course before they can fully participate as a member of the Unit.
Members of the Bicycle Patrol Unit also provide groups with bicycle safety classes throughout the spring, summer and fall months. If you are interested in having a class taught, please contact Sgt. Martin Scherzinger at (732) 747-5900.