The Altus Police Department Bike Patrol Division was created in 1997 in response to a need for a low-profile cost effective patrol element. The benefits of a Bike Patrol include greater interaction with citizens, lower cost for vehicles, increased efficiency at special events and the ability to "sneak-up" on criminals in the act.
The Bike Patrol participates in special events such as parades, air shows, picnics football games and other areas where the gap between foot and car patrol can be effectively filled with a Bike Officer. Each Bike Patrol Officer also patrols Altus in a patrol car. The Bike Officer may have his bike on the back of his patrol car or may ride directly from the Police Department. A typical day may find the Officer putting 10 to 40 miles on his Cannondale patrol bike.
All manner of Police work is done from the bike when an officer is on patrol. Officers carry the necessary paperwork and forms with them so they can work directly from their bikes. Reports are taken, warrants are served, neighborhoods are patrolled and the bike is also used to cover less accessible areas such as alleys and parks. A marked patrol car is called if the Bike Officer needs to have an arrestee transported to the Altus Jail.
The Altus Police Department Bike Patrol has participated in several area events and projects such as the National Military Mountain Bike Finals (Ft. Sill), the Moonlight Walk Against Drugs (Ft. Sill), the OU/Texas Barbeque on the Border (Altus), the Kid Focus Safety Fair (Altus), the Weed and Seed project (Wichita Falls) and most recently the Southwest Side Project - Peace In The Hood (Altus).
In addition to regular patrol duties, Bike Patrol Officers have spent hundreds of hours in local schools, day care centers and churches giving presentations on bicycle safety, seatbelt safety, stranger safety and gun safety. Bike Officers have also given free bike helmets to children, checked bikes for safety and explained the rules of the road at bike events.
The Bike Patrol Officers are required to attend a CLEET certified bike school. Officers are required to wear their helmets and they are aware that they are the role models for all other bike riders. The Bike Patrol maintains an office in the Southwest Side Community Resource Center at 101 South Hudson.