CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston Police Department received some brand new patrol bikes on Friday and they say it’s all in an effort to bridge relations with the Eastside community.
Charleston police officers are riding in style and making connections after getting 14 new patrol bikes.
“I think it’s going to be a great resource for what we’re doing to continue building our partnership with the community,” Charleston Police Lt. Timothy Dasher said. “We also want to continue to help with our crime management in the area. And also giving officers the opportunity to get out and interact with citizens within the community.”
The bikes were donated by two organizations aimed at giving back to the community and local law enforcement.
“This particular mission was right in the sweet spot of helping the community,” CEO of the LENS Foundation, one of the organizations that donated the new bikes, said. “But at the same time, obviously giving the police officers an opportunity to develop better relationships with the community sitting on a bike and riding the neighborhood rather than sitting in a car.”
Officers say this is something Eastside community members have wanted for a while.
“The community has been asking for it and we’re wanting to comply,” Dasher said. “We let them know that we’re listening to them. I hear them a lot at community meetings.”
Now that the bikes are here, neighbors say they’re grateful.
“With these 14 added new bike patrols in the community,” Eastside Community Development Corporation president Shelia Fields said. “I think the people will feel safer and it’s just so wonderful that they donated these bikes for our area.”
Charleston Police Department says these patrol bikes are just the beginning.
“This is something that we’re going to start here,” Charleston Police Department public information officer Elisabeth Wolfsen said. “We’d like to see it go department-wide and outsourced to other neighborhoods and other areas as well. So, this is definitely something that is just kind of a nexus to get us going and we’re going to be moving forward in a wider, more department-wide fashion for the whole city.”
Charleston Police Department says officers must complete a special certification to patrol on bikes and they expect all 14 bikes to be in-service soon.