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Bicycle Training

Bicycle Patrol Training and Certification

March 30, 2022

Sandy Springs connects with surrounding cities through Bicycle Patrol training program

First responders from the Sandy Springs Police and Fire departments recently underwent Bicycle Patrol training and certification as they hosted companies from neighboring Smyrna and Johns Creek to train alongside them.

Bicycle Patrol units enable staff to access hard-to-reach areas where medical emergencies and crimes have occurred. They are nimble enough to navigate crowds and can occasionally get to crime scenes faster, and less conspicuously, than police cars. The four-day, 32-hour training involved classroom discussion, endurance rides and obstacle courses that challenged the participants to learn how to maneuver in tight spaces.

Sandy Springs Police Sgt. Nick Smith, who now supervises the Bicycle Patrol unit, recognized the benefit this capability provides to the community.  

"I saw a need in our department to have an instructor so that we could provide this class to our current officers as well as opening it up to other agencies,” Smith said. “Using a bike has many different advantages. It provides an opportunity to get to locations quickly, to get where vehicles can't get and especially with our trails getting ready to open up in the near future, this provides us with an opportunity to get a head start to train and prepare to patrol those trails to make our citizens safer here in Sandy Springs."

The Sandy Springs Bicycle Patrol was formed when City Springs opened, which created a downtown district. Similarly, growth in downtown Smyrna prompted Fire Department Battalion Chief Eric Farmer to contact Smith to learn more about the unit. 

"When we started doing research, this course kept coming up and Nick Smith's name came up on the national registry for being one of the local instructors,” Farmer said. “(We) reached out to him; he was super helpful and we collaborated on getting the class together." 

Smith is an International Police Mountain Bike Association Certified National Trainer and can train other police officers. To train and certify the fire department personnel who participated in the training, Smith contacted Lt. Evan Coward with the Asheville Police Department in North Carolina to help facilitate.

In addition to the excellent service bicycle patrols provide for the communities they serve, Coward emphasized the health benefits to the first responders as well. Many adopt healthier and more active lifestyles.

"Public safety employees, unfortunately, are more likely to die after they retire because of situations they're put in,” Coward said. “High stress constantly, sitting for long periods, odd foods and sleep schedules—this really adds up. This is an opportunity for our people to get out, ride and get exercise. It's a big investment in your employees." 

 

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