RCMP officers in Castlegar will soon get some new wheels — but only two at a time.
The local detachment has plans to start a bicycle patrol in the next few months.
Local RCMP Sgt. Brett Turner has been championing the idea for a while, including presenting the idea to city council back in the summer.
“I think it is going to be awesome as an enforcement tool,” he said. “It will get us to a number of places that we can’t normally get to easily or quietly.”
He said the two new bicycles would have been useful during last summer’s spate of break and enters to homes and garages.
“The people that were doing that were mobilizing themselves on foot or on bicycles,” Turner explained. “Whenever a police car came near, they would duck into bushes and it was impossible to find them.”
Turner said the police will be able to see a lot more of Castlegar when on the bicycles, especially in places like parks and trails.
Another goal for the patrol is to interact with the public more.
“When people are out and about, it’s a lot easier to stop and communicate with your local police that way than when they are driving by in a big police car,” said Turner.
The two bicycles will be from a local shop and cost over $6,000 for both. The bikes have an electronic-assist function that will increase the pedalling power by about 30 per cent — saving some wear and tear on the officers.
Residents can also expect to see the patrols looking out for traffic violations.
“I think it will be a perfect fit for Castlegar,” said Turner.