GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Greensboro Police Department is offering a bicycle ride-along program to residents for the first time this summer.
The goal of the program is to give residents a first-hand look at what bike officers do on a daily basis.
Greensboro Police Sgt. AH Hollis says bicycle patrol units usually ride between five and 20 miles each shift.
“We're not just going from call to call. We're out actually meeting people, talking to people,” said Hollis. “Instead of being in a police car with the windows open or shut, you're out with the general public.”
All residents have to do to participate in the program is complete an eight hour training session. Police will provide bicycles and helmets to anyone who needs them. Participants must be 18 years of age or older, in good health and pass a background check.
Officials say the ride-along program is part of a department-wide effort to make officers more accessible to members of the community. The department will be shifting to Neighborhood Oriented Policing (NOP) by January, which is designed to help officers get to know specific neighborhoods in order to better serve residents who live there.
“Every community is unique. We don't know how unique until we go out and talk to them,” said Hollis. “We can't just sit and wait for calls to happen, you've got to get out and engage people.”
The first training session for the bike ride-alongs will be held Saturday July 12 at 8 a.m. It will be held at the Lewis Recreation Center at 3110 Forest Lawn Drive.