Delta police will be better equipped to police the Tsawwassen First Nation thanks to their new bike unit, a DPD press release said.
The two-person bike unit, which rolled out in mid-June, arrested a suspected shoplifter at Tsawwassen Mills during its first day in operation.
“We stopped her just a she was going to her car,” Cst. Jeff Miller, with the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) services team, said in the press release. “She told me, ‘I was going to run, but then I looked at you and thought, forget it.’”
The unit features mountain bikes specially designed for law enforcement use that use heavy-duty 29-inch tires and can travel over curbs and down stairs.
Delta had a bike unit in the past, but it’s been about 15 years since it was active. According to Sgt. Roy Garnham, who heads the TFN bike unit, it’s the perfect fit.
Most of the TFN lands are flat and feature a number of trails, easily lending itself to bicycle riding. Bike unit officers can also get from the TFN administrative offices to the Tsawwassen Mills mall in three minutes, faster than if travelling by car in some traffic conditions.
“It just makes us that much more accessible,” Garnham said in the DPD release. “Rather than being in cars, behind windows, we’re finding already that people are stopping us more, waving at us, just wanting to have a quick chat.”
Garnham and Miller are the only two officers on the unit right now, and they wear regular duty belts, as well as a police uniform, modified for use on bikes, consisting of shorts and short sleeved shirt and a helmet.
Each took a one-week course to learn bike-specific police tactics, as well as training on how to do power slides, travel safely down stairs and other riding techniques.