The Salem Police Department has approximately 30 police officers trained and certified in police bicycle operations. While mostly a seasonal position, the bicycle patrols supplement the Patrol Division and have become a useful and beneficial addition to the Department.
The objective of the bicycle unit was started as another component of the department’s proactive approach to law enforcement and service to the community. The Bike Unit is viewed as both an aid to furthering positive community relations and as a sensible approach to patrolling the unique terrain of Salem. The deployment of the police bike patrols offer the Salem Police Officer another way to quickly and efficiently patrol the inner sections of the congested and largely pedestrian area of downtown, and in the process increases the visibility and approachability of the officers to the community they serve.
Bicycle patrols offer easy access in crowded areas and have become a barrier-breaking tool in community policing. Bike patrols are also utilized in the city’s parks, parades and fireworks, Haunted Happenings, at children’s bicycle safety courses and have even been used in undercover narcotics investigations.
Each “Bike Officer” is "COBWEB" trained and tested before being assigned to the patrol. All officers of the Unit must attend and successfully complete a Mountain Bike Patrol School certified by the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Council known as COBWEB (Cops On Bikes With Education for Bicyclists). COBWEB is the original Massachusetts Police Mountain Bike Patrol Course designed to train the officer for his/her duties while on a Bike Patrol Unit. The COBWEB course is a 24 hour three day program with both classroom and field instruction. Upon completion of the course, the officer will have developed a heightened awareness of the importance of fitness, nutrition, injury prevention and physical well-being. The officer will also have a comprehensive understanding of standard operating procedures, crime prevention techniques, tactical maneuvers and communication.
Both the officers and the community have seen the reward of having this sub-division within the Salem Police Department.