LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck unveiled the department’s pilot program of 20 electric bicycles to begin patrolling the city immediately.
The pilot program, which we were a part of, included testing several bike brands and ultimately going with a custom-made class 3 electric bike by Bulls, called the Sentinel.
The Los Angeles Police Department already utilizes 500 bicycles on bike patrol, and they’ve added 20 Sentinels to start the program. The bikes will allow officers to respond to calls quicker, especially in congested downtown areas, and arrive ready to respond. It also, like the traditional bike counterparts, puts officers in a great position to interact with the public. People seem to like cops on bikes, it’s bringing back the beat cops.
Beck is a huge proponent of electric bikes, he’s gone riding with us and just loves them. This program will be part of his legacy, as he retires from duty this week.
THE LUCKY FEW
The 20 e-bikes gives LAPD the largest fleet in the country, and will be spread among 4 divisions (Central, Hollywood, Pacific and North Hollywood), and trainings have already begun. The number of bikes, as well as types, will expand as the officers assess the usability and expanded needs for the bikes. The department worked for several months on the curriculum and officers who are already experienced bicycle patrol officers have been chosen to go through the training.
We were given a sneak peek at some of the tactical training they have with these bikes, which we will cover in depth in an upcoming issue of the magazine. Stay Tuned!