NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — 99th Security Forces Squadron’s bike patrol is now able to operate year-round.
During the summer of 2013, the 99th SFS began the bike patrol program. This program was initiated to make law enforcement on base more proactive.
“[The bike patrol program] is a new way for us to have community outreach. We’re trying to outreach and build rapport with the community,” said Staff Sgt. Jordan Young, 99th Security Forces Squadron training instructor.
Residents who live in base housing on the hospital side are more likely to approach patrolmen with their complaints and issues that need to be addressed in the neighborhood.
“Patrolling on bicycles as opposed to motor vehicles makes the patrolmen more approachable and more personable,” said Senior Master Sgt. Paul Beuchat, 99th SFS operations superintendent.
The bike patrol is a more proactive approach to law enforcement as opposed to reactive.
“We’re trying to anticipate things. That goes hand in hand with being more visible to the public, building rapport, and building that trust. It builds on top of what’s called intelligence-lead policing,” Young said.
In addition to being more approachable and friendly, the patrolmen are able to move more quietly and to hear and see suspicious activity they would not be able to do in a patrol car.
“Without building the rapport that we’ve built in the last year, we wouldn’t have been able to catch a lot of the [vandals].
People are also calling in a lot more suspicious activity and they ask security forces to respond to the incident,” Young said.
In addition to more proactive law enforcement, the bike patrol is an innovative way to be good stewards of the environment, and a good way to save money by not burning fuel or having maintenance done on patrol cars.
For one patrol car patrolling the entire housing area on the hospital side base, the 99th SFS is able to save $16,000 annually by not driving a motor vehicle.
With the conservation efforts, the 99th SFS was also able to secure a $10,000 environmental fund from the 99th Civil Engineer Squadron. They purchased additional new bicycles, lights and bike sirens.
“The lights and sirens will allow the patrolmen to safely make traffic stops while on the bikes,” Young said.
As well as better equipment for the bicycles, the 99th SFS has acquired inclement-weather clothing and cold-weather equipment for the patrolmen so they can continue to safely conduct their patrols and not be limited to operating only during the warmer months.
With the partnership of vigilant residents, the 99th SFS continues to take a proactive stance in patrolling the base due to the bike patrol program.
To report suspicious activity contact the Law Enforcement desk at (702) 652-5100.