The Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department (KCPD) is expanding its bicycle fleet, with an electronic bicycle (e-bike).
E-Bike Helps with Community Interactions
Pedego Kansas City, an e-bike company, donated an e-bike to the department after six months of testing by KCPD's Downtown Bike Patrol. Store owner Dan Cain said he hopes the e-bike will help officers on many levels, including responding to calls and increased interactions. Testing of several e-bikes within the Downtown Bike Patrol proved that the equipment helped make officers more approachable, serving as a conversation starter. Often, residents had a curiosity about the bicycles and their questions initiated talks with officers, according to a press release.
About the E-Bike
Pedego Kansas City donated an Element Electric Assist Bicycle. According to Pedego's website, the bicycle has a removable battery that is integrated into the frame. It also has twist-and-go-throttle on one of its handlebars, as well as disc brakes, seven gears, a sturdy kickstand, and heavy-duty spokes. The 20" x 4" "fat" tires are able to travel on- and off-road. KCPD's e-bike was upfitted with a rear rack and police equipment bag, as well as a C3 sports police headlight/red and blues with a siren.
The department is currently looking at possibly testing a few other brands of e-bikes, a police department spokesperson told Government Fleet. The department hopes to secure funding to purchase six e-bikes in the future. They have proven during testing to be "invaluable for police use," the spokesperson said. The equipment extends the range of patrols and eases the physical burden on officers who laden down with 40 lbs. of equipment. That allows officers to perform their duties better, as well as be more approachable since the bicycles can go where a patrol car cannot.
The KCPD Downtown Bike Patrol has seven Cannondale Police Mountain Bikes that are 10 to 12 years old that are used for everyday patrol use. The department also has five extra Cannondales as backup bicycles. Five older Cannondales and two Treks that are an upwards of 20 years old are used for parts when needed, a spokesperson explained.
Christy Grimes is an associate editor at Government Fleet.