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... Sets the Pace for On-duty Officer Biking

The next time you call, your local South District beat officer may show up on two-wheels instead of four. The Madison Police Department (MPD) South District has greatly expanded the capacity for police bicycle patrols and accessibility to bikes with the addition of three squad car mounted bicycle racks, according to Officer Dave Dexheimer, a member of the South District's Community Police Team (CPT).

" Our recently acquired Saris brand ‘Cycle-On' bike racks allow our 25 bike trained South District officers to have ‘round the clock access to a bike throughout the course of the officer's shift," said Officer Dexheimer. "Much like Madison Metro's bus mounted bike racks; these squad mounted racks are convenient and very easy to use. At the beginning of the work day, your beat officers will quickly load a bike along with their other usual equipment as they prepare for the day. Now, more South District cops will be out riding during the day when the opportunity arises," he added.

Dexheimer said the enhanced ability "to deploy cops on bikes" directly supports the city's Platinum Bicycling Committee's efforts to achieve recognition of Madison as one of the premier bicycling cities in America. The report calls on the police department to increase the degree to which bicycles are "…used as a mode of transport by police personnel." This goal, he concludes, "leads to enhanced patrol efforts, increased visibility, improved health and wellness of the officer, and most importantly, a level of accessibility to officers not possible with other deployment strategies."

South District Captain Joe Balles says the new bike efforts also support the city's 2009 "Natural Step" objectives by enhancing the "sustainability of operations" and the reduction of carbon emissions and fuel consumption. "Even small or brief reductions in vehicle operation have a cumulative effect in reducing emissions. The increased use of bikes by our district officers adds to the "greening" of our department and an improved environment for all," said Captain Balles.

Improved police access to bicycles is part of the South District's on-going efforts to bring officers closer to the community they serve. The addition of the racks follows on the heels of this past summer's very successful neighborhood rides with the South District's "Ride With a Cop" program.


  • Officer Dave Dexheimer, 266-5938
  • Capt. Joe Balles, 267-8687
  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897