The UC Davis Police Department (UCDPD) has hired 11 new bike cops who will be patrolling UC Davis by the end of the month.
The UC Davis interim Chief of Police, Matt Carmichael, opened up the bike position to whoever wanted the job. This will mean that two-thirds of the UCDPD will be certified to ride bikes on campus.
“The chief of police thought it was better for the community relationship,” said Bike Officer Ralph Nuno. “There will be more contact with the public, and ultimately, we wanted to see more officers on a bike.”
The bicycles and gear were provided by the ASUCD Bike Barn. It cost around $10,000 to $15,000 to provide the necessary equipment for the new bike cops, said Robert St. Cyr, general manager of the Bike Barn.
Student fees did not increase because of the new bike cops, Nuno said.
“It is a very nice partnership, we are pleased that they wanted to work with campus organizations to improve their services,” St. Cyr said.
There have been two bicycle training courses for the new bike cops, Nuno said .
This is the first time UC Davis ran a state-sanctioned class for new bike cops, which was made possible after Nuno was certified as a bicycle cop, a press release stated.
On Sunday, March 4, there were three bike cops out patrolling. There will be two to three cops working each shift.
The new bike cops were further employed to enforce education and safety for students riding bicycles.
The new bike cops will also be involved in an existing program that offers a decrease in citation fines if the cited party attends a bike safety course.
The website bikesafety.ucdavis.edu, which was created by a partnership between UCDPD and Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS), contains a 45 minute online training course about traffic laws and regulations that apply to bike riders.
Currently, a bike citation for running a stop sign is an estimated $200.
However, if students with citations log onto the website and watch the video on bike safety, the citation fine can be reduced to around $70.
Even those who have not received a bike citation may go onto the website and watch the video. Those who watch the video without a citation will be placed in a raffle. Prizes are still being decided on, according to Nuno.
Nuno is excited about the addition of the new bike cops.
“This can save so much gas, our carbon foot print will be so much smaller. The chief will be completing a study soon on how much it will save,” Nuno said.
ALICIA KINDRED can be reached at email@example.com.