The Rockland Police Department began a uniformed Bicycle Patrol Unit in the summer of 1994. The goal of the program was to localize police coverage and bring the department closer in touch with the community. The unit started out with one bicycle and now has five bicycles.
All bicycle officers receive specialized training before patrolling. They can perform most of the same duties that an officer in a cruiser would perform. The primary patrol area for bicycle officers is the compact parts of the town. In addition to answering calls for service, bicycle officers enforce traffic and pedestrian and bicycle laws as well. Bicycle officers also have been involved with providing bicycle safety classes to all the elementary schools in the town.
The purpose of the bike patrol is to increase patrol coverage in areas where traditional vehicles cannot access. Parks, alleys and shopping districts are easily maneuvered by bike officers on their mount.
Officers are easily distinguished from civilians as they are outfitted with special police uniforms. The uniforms are designed to allow better flexibility so that the officers are not limited in their abilities. Comfort is of the utmost importance. For this reason shorts or BDU pants are worn with short-sleeved shirts. Emblazoned across back of the shirt is the word POLICE. A traditional gun belt is worn with all of its accessories.
Bikes are fitted with a halogen headlight, flashing lights to the front and rear and a carry-all containing first aid supplies and other necessary equipment. To secure the bike while dismounted, typical hand cuffs or chain is used.