Sioux City Officers have started patrolling the streets on two wheels instead of four this summer. Over 20 officers were trained in bicycle patrol after the department purchased bikes though a grant provided by The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Those familiar with the old CAST (Community Action Support Team) Unit will remember Officers on bicycles in the 1990s.
Working with City Neighborhood Services the SCPD was able to secure a grant for the bike program through a Community Development Block Grant. The grant paid for the bicycles and will also partially pay for officer’s wages while on bike patrol in HUD development areas.
The focus of the bike program is to make contacts with members of the community and build relationships with them. The bikes get officer out of their cars and make them more approachable to the public.
Chief Rex Mueller saw the chance to return to the department’s C.A.S.T. roots as a way to extend the operational capabilities and outreach efforts of the department.
Our mission of community engagement to build trust is well served by this kind of effort… From a safety standpoint, bikes are also able to patrol areas of the city that are not as accessible to cars such as the riverfront and walking trails.
As part of the grant, the department will host bike rodeos to help teach kids bike safety and improve their skills. Dates for bike rodeos are not set but will be announced via the department’s social media and web page.
The bikes are also equipped with a trauma kit and first aid kit so that officers can render first aid to anyone they encounter needing medical help. The kits were donated by Mercyone.