News / Edmonton

Envy no more: Edmonton transit cops get bikes

Edmonton transit peace officers have over 700km of ground to cover, some of which is hard to access by car. A new bike-patrol pilot is meant to help officers get more places faster.

ETS Peace Officers dismount new enforcement-ready Trek bikes during a demonstration of the new gear in Churchill Square.

Braeden Jones/ Metro

ETS Peace Officers dismount new enforcement-ready Trek bikes during a demonstration of the new gear in Churchill Square.

Edmonton’s transit peace officers looked upon city police bike patrol units with envy—until recently when they got to saddle up some enforcement-capable bikes of their own.

For the past two weeks, 12 Transit Peace Officers have been patrolling ETS property by bike as part of a pilot project.

Transit officer Chris Johnson said it’s been a boon for his patrols.

“You can respond to calls for service where a vehicle might not be accessible, like in congested downtown traffic, parks, places a car can’t get to,” he said, adding that with a bike, the “public interaction aspect is greatly increased.”

Chuck Van Deel Piepers, acting director of safety and security for ETS, said it was at the request of officers who noticed the EPS units that the management team considered the pilot.

“(We) reviewed it and felt it was a worthy exercise,” he said—no pun intended.

“With the launch of the Metro Line here right away we need resources out there on the rail, we need support out there for the operators and the citizens out there on the buses,” he said. “It’s proven already to me as a director that it is worthy, but we will take a look at the end.”

Van Deel Piepers explained that the success of the pilot, which lasts until the end of October, weather permitting, would similarly depend on feedback from the peace officers.

Johnson, for one, is all for it, and said he’s noticed “great feedback from the public” so far.

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