Downtown Fresno's police officers to patrol on electric bikes

Officers say the bikes also provide a great opportunity to connect with the community.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The downtown Fresno policing unit is rolling into a new era.

This week, the department unveiled new electric bikes that will help improve response time and allow officers to cover more distance in the downtown area.

"The department has just purchased eight brand new Trek electric bicycles," said Captain Joey Alvarez.

The e-bikes come with pedal assistance that can travel up to 28 miles per hour, allowing officers to conserve their energy when arriving at calls.



These same officers rode standard bicycles before the new faster bikes were introduced this week.

"What this does is allows officers to maintain all the positives of the bicycle patrol but allows them to have a faster response time, a more appropriate response time. As well as once they get there, they're still fresh and capable of doing their job," said Alvarez.

The downtown policing unit is responsible for a rather large geographical area, full of alleyways and narrow streets.

"The ability to get an officer into position to handle a report, to handle a disturbance, to just do standard patrols is important. Sometimes a patrol car is not conducive to that."

The e-bikes take a few hours to charge but can last an entire shift.

Officers say the bikes also provide a great opportunity to connect with the community.

"The focus is different in regards to how we communicate and the number of people we come in contact with. The availability to just say hello to a police officer on a bike versus in a car."

These e-bikes retail for about $4,000 but the department says they were able to work out a deal with the vendor to reduce costs.
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