New Wheels for KPD Bike Patrol

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Knoxville (WVLT) - If you visit downtown Knoxville a lot or are a regular at our parks and greenways then you've seen the Knoxville Police Department's bike patrol officers out in full force.

Fifteen to twenty bikers put in several miles each day and now their means of transportation is getting quite an upgrade.

Volunteer TV's Stacy McCloud found out how officers are preparing their new bikes for the pavement.

"This is a considerable upgrade to what we had," says John Sutton with the KPD Bike Patrol.

For Knoxville's two-wheeled police patrol, it is out with the old and in with the new.

It's an upgrade that the men and women who hit the pavement every day say is long overdue.

A few bikes have been purchased here and there, but this is the first complete overhaul since community policing rolled back into Knoxville in the mid 1990s.

"In the early 1990's, we had bike patrol. It was gone for a while and came back," says Lt. Robert Hubbs.

Before the 15 lighter, faster, and easier to maneuver bikes can hit the road Tuesday, they must be broken in.

"It's just like a car, you wanna test it, see what the capabilities are," says Sutton.

Orange cones like KPD's training facility so officers can peddle their way in and around a variety of obstacle courses, allowing them to adjust their new ride.

"Those maneuvers get you used to riding around people, cars, allies," Sutton says.

And, giving the bike itself and a chance to settle.

"As the cables are stretching, the derailers lose fine-tune adjustment," says Sammy Shaffer, a KPD Bike Patrolman.

All but eight old bikes will stay in circulation for fill-in's and cadet training, meaning 48 bikes in all are equipped to cruise Knoxville.

Making for a convenient, cost efficient, and even more enjoyable way to protect and serve.

"People can talk to us, we're approachable," says Hubbs.

Aside from a computer, which officers say probably isn't too far in the horizon, each bike is equipped with essentially everything a cruiser has.

The cost for each bike, add-on's included, is around $100.

Three bikes were purchased with money from the police departments general fund.

The other twelve were paid for with a justice assistance program grant.

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