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Police bike patrol to offer sweet treats to safe school-aged bike riders

 

By SUE BOTOS

ROCKY RIVER – As children savor the summer and spend more hours spent on their bicycles, Rocky River police are offering up a sweet safety incentive.

In partnership with the Goldwood Primary School PTA, Rocky River Citizen Police Academy (CPA) Alumni Association and Mitchell’s Ice Cream, the department’s bicycle patrol will be rewarding young cyclists practicing safe bike riding during the summer.

Officers will be looking for school-aged children wearing helmets, crossing at crosswalks with traffic signals, and otherwise observing good bike safety. When spotted, young riders will be offered a coupon for a scoop of ice cream from Mitchell’s in Rocky River.

Police public information officer and bike patrol founder Lt. George Lichman noted that all cycling officers will be on marked police bikes and wearing uniforms, including bright blue or yellow polo-style shirts, marked with POLICE on the back and Rocky River police patches on the sleeves. Officers will be out weekly from now through the fall in all parts of the city including residential neighborhoods and city parks.

Lichman said this is the first season for an official reward program. “The first season of the bike patrol (2016), we had some Dairy Queen and Mitchell’s coupons we distributed. It was very informal. This is the first year the Goldwood PTA and the CPA alumni collaborated with Mitchell’s for the program.”

The seven-officer bike patrol allows more opportunity for positive contact between police and citizens, according to Lichman. In addition to their regular shifts, the officers are present at summer sunset concerts, River Days, the annual Bike to School challenge and other community events. They are certified by the International Police Mountain Bike Association and have received specific training. The patrol includes Lichman and patrolmen Ed Kolenc, Greg King, Monte Hamaoui, Neil Czaplicki, Chris Camp and Dan Nuti.

Taking to the streets at no cost to the city, the patrol is made possible through a collaboration between the CPA Alumni Association, Giant Bicycles, Century Cycles of Rocky River and generous donations.

 

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