abc
QUICK LINKS:

Bike Patrol Cruises Around Duluth

Updated: 06/03/2014 10:16 PM
Created: 06/03/2014 9:49 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

Duluth Police are cruising the streets again on bike patrol, and they've had success keeping the community safe. That has them training officers from around the state this week to follow in their bike path.

Duluth Police have a new horseback patrol to be a huge, visible presence for events like Grandma's Marathon, but their stealthy two-wheeled coworkers have been busting crime in Duluth since the 90s.

“And if there's a problem say vehicle prowls or people on foot committing crimes you put a bike in that area at a certain time of day or night and you're very stealth. I mean they don't see it coming,” Officer Nick Lepak said.

He leads the patrol of about eight bike cops, and he said the group pedaled over 2,000 miles last year. Along the way they made 51 arrests, 26 of them for felonies, and wrote over 200 citations.

“A prime example is when the Last Place on Earth was around. Bike patrol was a humongously successful tool for us and it was really very successful,” Lepak said.

That impact has officers from Red Wing coming up to learn how to weave through traffic and other obstacles.

“As you can see from the road course here we're learning how to do serpentine, go up stairs, go down stairs. I mean it's a lot of stuff that you would never think you could do on a bike,” Sergeant Travis Bray said.

He said a bike is an effective too to cut down on crime in tight spots vehicles can't reach, but it can also shift up public opinion.

“It gets the guys and gals outside of the cars. We're out amongst the people. They're actually seeing us out and about,” Bray said.

He said that helps build trust and confidence in the police, but first they have to build their basic skills skirting around traffic cones.

“It's kind of like being in a crowd or in a confined area and being able to ride your bike and effectively manipulate it so you're not being a liability,” Lepak said.

Soon the recruits will hit the trails, parks and streets to keep their communities safe. The Duluth bike patrol does not have an off-season, but when the snow flies officers stick to patrolling the skywalk.

Front Page

  • Duluth Couples Celebrate Gay Marriage Anniversary

    Friday marked one year of same-sex marriage being legalized in Minnesota, and many Duluth couples say it's reason for celebration. 

  • Northwestern Wisconsin Fish Hatchery Celebrates 100 Years

    The Governor Tommy G. Thompson State Fish Hatchery in Spooner has been stocking northern Wisconsin lakes since 1914. The Wisconsin DNR celebrated the centennial with minnow races, fishing, and hatchery tours. Former governor Thompson even stopped by for the celebration.

  • Duluth Police Seek Tips to Find Missing Woman

    The Duluth Police Department is seeking tips from the public to locate a woman who has been missing for more than a week. Kathryn Mary McQuillen, 60, was last seen at Lakeside Manor, 4831 London Road.

  • Gov. Mark Dayton surveys flood-affected areas of Koochiching County in June. Koochiching, Beltrami Co. Added to Federal Disaster Area

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has added 24 Minnesota counties and two tribal governments to a federal disaster declaration for flooding, including Koochiching and Beltrami counties and the Red Lake Band of Chippewa.

  • Chester Bowl Ski Jumps to be Torn Down, Memorialized

    Out with the old and in with the new is a transition that's difficult for many especially when the old is something as historic as the Chester Bowl Ski Jumps. They will be torn down the week of August 18th, but a new memorial will go up by early 2016.

 
Advertisement