POSTED: Monday, August 26, 2013 - 7:30pm
UPDATED: Monday, August 26, 2013 - 7:34pm
BATON ROUGE, LA — "In my 20 years as an officer, this was the most intense training that I've ever experienced," said Sgt. Tommy Morrison.
This past July, three members of the Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC) Police Department successfully completed the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) class, provided by the Baton Rouge City Police Department.
The intense, week-long training providedBRCC officers with the skills needed to effectively serve the BRCC community as a bicycle patrol. IPMBA offers the best, most complete training for police bicyclist. The courses were developed by experts in the fields of police and EMS cycling, and are used by police agencies around the world.
BRCC's Chief of Police, Genoria Tilley, is excited about the accomplishment, and is even more excited that the college now has an official patrol unit. She is confident the unit will improve the interaction between students and officers.
"Bike patrol at BRCC was established to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of BRCC's Police work on campus. One benefit is that the officers are able to access every area of the campus, often with reduced response time in cases of emergency," said Tilley.
Because of increased maneuverability, officers on bikes are more efficient at patrolling campus parking lots and walkways around campus. They are particularly effective in crowded areas during special events such as commencement, and athletic events. Another advantage is that bike patrol officers, even in uniform, are often able to approach suspects virtually unnoticed.
The three officers, who make up the new bicycle unit, are Sgt. Tommy Morrison, Officer Joseph Babin, and Officer Timothy Lennox. The officers will be able to ride the bikes for most of the year, except when hazardous conditions exist, such as ice and snow.
The creation of the bicycle patrol unit is just one in a series of steps that BRCC has taken in recent months to beef up campus security. For example, the college has upgraded the emergency communication equipment in Parking Garage to Wide Area Emergency Broadcast System (WEBS), enabled Talk A Phone VOIP boxes, added staff, and is receiving support from the Baton Rouge City Police Department.
Additionally, the college has purchased two new BRCC marked police units to replace old inoperable vehicles.
The unit has already begun patrolling the campus. They are currently wearing the BRCC red polo shirt, with black bottoms; however, they will be sporting their black and red reflective shirts and black bottoms in the near future.