Bike Watch: Overview
Bike watch is a wonderful program that allows AmeriCorps members, residents, and the Detroit police as well as other patrol units work together to make their neighborhood more safe. Working with the local law enforcement branches, patrols adorn brightly colored Bike Watch vests or other gear that clearly identify them while on patrol.
Bike watch is a neighborhood patrol that deters crime by volunteers taking the initiative to be the eyes on the street.
Volunteers ride their bikes or other modes of self ppropelling down streets keeping a look out for suspicious activity.
If the patrols find a suspicious incident then they gather as many details as they can visually while keeping a safe distance from the incident.
- Research shows that increasing the amount of people on a street is in and of itself a crime deterrent. The Bike Watch is able to cover several blocks, but still at a pace that creates of sense of activity on the streets.Bike watch is a weekly ride that aims to create a friendly presence in the heart of our city.
- Bike Watch is based on the idea of community policing, or community-oriented policing, which is a strategy of policing that focuses on the police building ties and working closely with members of the communities.
- The benefits of community knowledge police resources are what could make this project successful.
Thus our main objective is to involve as many community members as possible!
Bike Watch program uses COMPSTAT to determine when and where the best time to patrol will be.
Thus, Bike Watch times change time and place every week.
Bike Watch rides happen twice a week in all seasons except winter (weather permitting).
In cases of witnessed crime, AmeriCorps bike watch members carry WSUPD radio or notify the precinct they are in via their phones, which allows them to communicate directly for assistance.
Bring your supplies!
Make sure on every ride that you bring water, snacks (granola bars), and release forms.
Before rides any flyers you may be passing out.
Any additional tools and portable maintenance equipment are a plus.
Recording tool. This is to record what incidents if any the patrol found on the ride.
Two maps. One for patrols and the other for the police to have a record of where the patrols are going.
Safety above all else
Bike watch members are not trained as an officer or any other actual policing authority.
So we never to directly engage in physical crime interventions.
Members are specifically instructed to maintain distance when you see a crime being committed. (i.e. don’t go near the fire)
Helmets, bike watch identifiers, and groups of no less than 2 are required.
Pre Ride Checks for Volunteers
Ensure helmets fit properly, straps are snug.
Check quick release levers to ensure they are tight / properly secured.
Ensure brakes are working properly
Check tire pressure should not be any “squish” they should be hard like a basketball.
The seat is at a comfortable height.
Ride in the street, no more than two abreast.
Riding in the street is legal, and more importantly, safer than riding on the sidewalk.
Ride 3 feet from the curb, unless it unsafe to do so. In this case, take the lane until you have passed the danger.
Every person should use turns by pointing in the direction you are turning on every ride.
Always observe rules of the road as if you were a car: stop at lights, turn from the proper lane ect. unless otherwise directed (bike lanes)
Roll up your pant leg so that it won”t get caught in the bike chain.
Reasons to “take the lane”
Potholes can cause injury to you and the bike.
Parked cars that pose a danger of “dooring”(opening the door suddenly into you and or your bike).
Uneven or rough pavement.
Simply feeling uncomfortable is also a good reason!
Stay alert and look out for each other!
Don’t text/talk on the phone while cycling.
Announce road hazards to the rest of the group (potholes ect.) by signaling to the rest of the group.