Police bicycle patrol is used heavily by the Joplin Police Department RAPID Team. In many jurisdictions, bicycle patrol is used primarily as a public relations tool. However, the Joplin Police Department utilizes police bike patrol as a highly effective enforcement tool. We currently deploy four full-time bicycle officers who operate year-round as weather permits.
Bike patrol is used to patrol miles of bike trails that are inaccessible to patrol cars. The bike officers also serve critical roles at large events such as parades, Boomtown Days, and Freedom Fest. Officers on police bicycles are also better able to detect odors and hear sounds that signify criminal activity than officers in cars, which is why they are used extensively and effectively during directed patrol operations. The Joplin Police Department bike patrol conducted numerous bicycle safety education segments for the public during 2012. Bike patrol is also used to patrol the downtown entertainment district as weather permits.