Police Bike School Celebrates 25 Years

By Dave Maley, June 5, 2018
Pioneering course helps officers integrate biking with law enforcement.

Officers from a half dozen law enforcement agencies in New York State will learn how to incorporate bicycles into their operations at the 2018 Police Mountain Bike School, being held June 4–8 at Ithaca College.

This is the 25th year for the course, which is designed as an entry-level training for law enforcement personnel utilizing specialized mountain bikes for patrol activities.

The course curriculum includes classroom training on such topics as vehicle and traffic law, bicycle maintenance, and nutrition and fitness. Participants will also take to the streets, off-road trails, and campus stairs, curbs and parking lots to learn practical skills involving riding evolutions, mock scenarios, obstacle negotiation, dismounts, takedowns, suspect contact and tactical response with firearms.

The program began in 1993 when instructors from Ithaca College, Cornell University and the Ithaca Police Department teamed up to develop what was at that time a pioneering course in police bike patrolling. Today, the course curriculum remains the model utilized by numerous agencies throughout the region.

Law enforcement agencies represented by the students in this year’s school include the Ithaca College Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management, Ithaca Police Department, Vestal Police Department, Johnson City Police Department, Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police.

The course is sponsored by the Ithaca College Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management, and the instructors hold certifications from agencies including the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, International Police Mountain Bike Association and Law Enforcement Bicycle Association.