NYPD Bike Patrol: It’s Officially a Trend

After two readers sent us pictures of bike cops in March, we promised to give a Streetfilms T-shirt to the person who sent us a third pic. It took two months, but today we received the photo that puts the bicycling police officer story over the hump — now it’s a trend! Congratulations to Hilda, who takes the prize in dramatic fashion with this shot of four officers on bike patrol. We might have to throw in an extra T-shirt for the calf tattoo.

There seems to be a concentration of cycling officers in Midtown. All of our reader-submitted photos (the first of which also came from Hilda) were taken between 34th Street and 44th Street, west of Sixth Avenue. I saw a bike cop on Hester Street on my way to work last week, though, so they range downtown too. We’ll see if NYPD’s public information office will divulge whether the department has actually beefed up its bike patrols or if these guys have been out on the streets, unheralded, all along. While we’re at it, we’ll ask if they track how many officers participate in Bike to Work Day this Friday.

  • Jeff

    I consider widespread use of bikes by NYPD to be the third side of the holy triangle of transportation reform (the other two being bike share and congestion pricing).  Can you imagine a cop mounted on a bike to show the same indifference to a cyclists getting right-hooked, for example, as one sitting in a car?  It’s all about who they are empathizing with at the moment.  While the latter may say, “Well, he needed to make his turn!  I know the feeling, damn bikes getting in our way of making our turns”, while the former might say, “That motorists nearly killed that cyclist!”

  • fj

    Definitely a happy friendly bunch.  Can this be the beginning a real trend?
     
    And . . .

    Smith & Wesson Police Bikes
    In 1997 legendary gun maker Smith & Wesson introduced a line of bicycles specifically built for law enforcement, security and emergency response teams.  These bicycles are designed precisely for the rough service conditions, extended use and other special needs of these highly demanding professionals.

    http://policebikestore.com/smithwessonbikes.htm

     
     

  • Aidry

    This is a nice trend. Now if only someone could get the police something better than mountain bikes to be riding the streets on. Cyclocross bikes would probably be more effective at police work than mountain bikes.

  • Actually, I got into a discussion with a Community Affairs officer in Brooklyn at the Bike Rodeo hosted at a school in Park Slope. I asked him, “Officer, why aren’t there more bike cops out on patrol?” He said, “Actually, every precinct has at least one or two officers trained to do patrol on a bike.” So I said, “but why aren’t more out there?” He responded, “You have to talk to your local precinct and ask for it.” Could it be that simple? I’d love for you, Ben, to follow up on this idea. Jeff is right that if we had more cops riding bikes in our community, we would get far more sympathetic and fair treatment from these same police officers

  • Anonymous

    Smith and Wesson, my second favorite bike maker to Colt Firearms. 

  • Anonymous

    @252f900d9be618895ae63631ebdee902:disqus I think mountain bikes are really the best.  Dropbars on a cyclocross bike limit your vision by making you look down at the your front tire.  The straight bars on a MTB move your focus out in front of you.  A hardtail mountain bike can ride on any surface and over almost obstacle an officer would need to negotiate.  
    They aren’t racing, they need to able to see as much of whats around them as possible.  Speed is not really that important for them.

  • It was stated at a meeting this week of Central Park users  (runners, walkers, skaters, different “types” of cyclists) that virtually all of the officers in the Central Park Precinct are bike-certified and that there are some plain clothes officers on bikes in the park.  Even the new Captain of the Central park Precinct said she was planning on going for her bike certification this year!  But I can’t recall seeing a bike-mounted officer in the park.

    In related news, it was reported that there have been 35 crashes in Central Park this year so far involving cyclists, 16 of which involved pedestrians, 9 were solo crashes (some involving cyclists dodging pedestrians), 5 involved motor vehicles, and another 5 involved multiple cyclists.  Of the five cyclist-Motor vehicle crashes, three occurred on the transverses and some of those sounded quite serious, including a cyclist whose arm was run over by a car on the 79th Street transverse.  Captain Corey of the CPP said that efforts were underway to conduct much-needed radar enforcement in the transverses, but it did not sound like those efforts had borne fruit just yet.

    The Parks Enforcement Patrol officers and CPP officers warned that there will be continued summonsing in the park, perhaps at levels that might be perceived as an increase in summonsing, of cyclists who fail to stop at red lights.  The command structure now in place seems to “get” that enforcement should be targeted at cyclist who fail to stop at reds when there are pedestrians in the crosswalk, but it is not clear whether that message has filtered down to the officers who are actually doing the summonsing. 

    What is clear is that there is likely to be some kind of warning system in place for cyclists so that it will be apparent that enforcement activity is going on prior to the actual enforcement taking place.  Cyclists should always be alert to context when riding in the Park, and those who are will likely avoid tickets.

  • Ken

    The calf tats are great.  Ride on NYPD.

  • I learned at a Precinct Community Council meeting that the NYPD Patrol Guide doesn’t allow officers on foot, bike, or in golf cart to conduct traffic stops. So it seems to me that we Streetsblog readers should want more cops in patrol cars so that we can get reckless drivers punished.

    Cops on bikes will just pay attention to people on bikes.

  • Jakes11104

    There is something just wrong about bikes being manufactured by a gun fabricator. The two just don’t mix. One is a wonderful object of functional art while the other is an instrument of death. Frankly, Smith and Wesson has enough business with law enforcement that those bikes should be supplied by an American made bike manufacturer. 

  • Greggzuk

    That’s the Midtown South precinct.

  • outkast2045 “Finest Tactical”

    sorry buddy your wrong i one of the four officers in this picture and yes we issued moving violations to vehicles as well.

  • outkast2045 “Finest Tactical”

    one the money with this post plus they were the first bike issue and my command is they only one with this bikes MTTF/CTTF on 30 th between 6th & 7th ave

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