Police officers try two wheels

Officer Kevin Creager rode through the recent Greencastle Memorial Day Parade on the police department’s latest mode of transportation.

Greencastle Police Department has a new method of transportation available for its officers. Two Fugi bicycles have arrived and been put into use.

Police chief John Phillippy sees several advantages to using officers with pedal power.

“They may be used whenever there are two officers on duty and one wishes to ride,” he said. “They will also be used for special events because of the ability to get into crowded locations with increased speed, as opposed to walking.”

He noted that an officer riding for one shift would save $20 to $30 for a cruiser’s fuel and maintenance cost, and also provide increased access to the public. In addition, the mobile officer could likely spot criminal activity and benefit health-wise at the same time.

Phillippy said one officer was very close to a suspect before the person was even aware of his presence.

So far four of Greencastle’s officers have expressed interest in patrolling on bicycle. Training will occur at Harrisburg Area Community College after they have gained experience, and when sessions are again offered. Phillippy said the classes have been scaled back due to the state’s budget crisis.