During the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week, the centerpiece of the law enforcement crowd management strategy has been the simple mountain bike.

Local police have assembled a team of 300 bicycle officers, divided across two shifts, to guide and manage marches that have weaved through the heart of downtown, so far without incident.

Supplemented with recruits drawn from more than a dozen agencies, including Fort Worth and nearby Akron, the units have put a softer face on a vast security apparatus in a largely barricaded city.

“You can’t do what they’re doing on foot; you can’t do it in a patrol car,’’ Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams told USA Today.

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