Police Put Bike Unit Through Week-long Training
The Columbus Division of Police has 120 officers in its bike unit.
CPD says that makes it one of the biggest in the nation.
And now, bike officers from all over are being trained in Columbus.
They are crime fighters on two wheels.
Before they can hit the streets, they go to the Columbus Police Training Academy.
"A lot of them kind of laugh at us before they come to training and say, 'Hey, Dad taught me to ride a bike when i was 5 or 6. What are you going to teach me?' " says Sergeant Duane Mabry.
Bike officers from Columbus and other police agencies are in the middle of a week-long training.
It includes everything from safely affecting a traffic stop from a bike, to defending yourself from an attacker who's knocked you from your wheels.
The officers are instructed to disregard the bike and pull their weapon even if they're on the ground.
They are trained to use their bikes as defensive weapons when necessary.
They are skills that were put to use earlier this summer when a child was shot at the Juneteenth Festival.
"It happened around the amphitheater where you can't get a cruiser in. These two guys showed up at the back of the amphitheater, rode down the steps to the dad holding his child saying he was just shot, the crowd's pointing to where the bad guy is," says Sgt. Mabry.
The bike officers found and arrested the shooter.
"That's just an aspect a cruiser couldn't do and it's at a speed that an officer on foot couldn't do."
Columbus used to send its bike officers elsewhere for training.
It established its own training program last year.
There are plans to continue expanding the training to include riot control.
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