This year’s Boston Police Academy graduates were the first entire class to be trained in bicycle patrols, thanks to an unusual donation that allowed police bikes to be purchased from JP’s Ferris Wheels Bike Shop.
“This is truly a milestone class of cadets, as each one is fully trained on the use of bicycles for patrols in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Thomas Menino in a press statement issued in response to Gazette questions. “Bikes provide better mobility and easier access for officers and will surely enhance our efforts to community police.”
Previously, only a few select officers received bike patrol training. This year, all 65 police cadets received the training, so all of them can do bike patrols as part of their regular rotation of duties.
The cadets trained on $1,650 Fuji Police Special bikes that Ferris Wheels custom-adjusted for each cadet, as the Gazette previously reported. The $142,000 cost of the bikes and training came from money left to the Boston Police Department (BPD) by a woman named Jean Fink in her will, according to the Mayor’s Office. It is unclear what motivated her to bequeath the money.
The training included bike handling and maintenance; physical fitness and injury prevention; and the BPD’s community policing philosophy, which involves putting officers on the street in direct contact with the regular public.
The Police Academy will attempt to do the full-class bike patrol training again if funding allows, according to the Mayor’s Office.
BPD referred Gazette questions about the bike patrol training to the Mayor’s Office.