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Thought Leadership Views From Peachtree

Buckhead’s Bike Patrol: One Officer’s Perspective

By Buckhead CID

A little more than a year ago, the Buckhead Community Improvement District partnered with the Atlanta Police Department to implement a bike patrol to combat crime in the area. Every weekday four off-duty APD officers who are certified as part of the department’s Bicycle Response Team patrol parking garages and parking lots throughout the commercial district, adding visible policing to deter crime.

Atlanta Police Department Sergeant Daniel Funderbirk, a bike patrol officer, shared his perspective on how the bike patrol contributes to public safety and crime reduction in Buckhead.

What does a typical workday look like for a bike patrol officer in Buckhead?

My days usually start out with a “loop.” I like to take a ride around without making many stops to just get the feel of what’s going on for that day…see if anything looks out of place or if there’s any strange feeling in the air. I know that sounds odd, but I’ve always said since I began in law enforcement that some days I get a “cop feeling.” 

After I’ve done that, I start making specific stops and planned stops. Often, I will stop in different businesses while at other times I’ll just ride through the parking lots. I’m allowing myself to be seen in order to let them know that I’m here for them. While allowing myself to be seen by the business owners, guests and the business community at large, I’m also able to be seen by those who would cause harm to the harmony that we are working so hard to maintain in the Buckhead business district.

How important is the visible, active community presence of the bike patrol in Buckhead? What role do your daily interactions play in deterring crime and building confidence in public safety?

Of course, presence is everything. That’s why it is a daily part of my routine. Actually, it’s not just a part of my routine… it is my routine. Most people are used to seeing a police officer in his or her vehicle. The only time that the officer gets out of the vehicle is if there’s a “bad” situation… a traffic ticket, or a call for service after something bad has already happened. This is the responder part of first responder. Something bad happens and we show up to fix it. 

The special thing about the bike patrol is that we aren’t just your typical first responders. We are up close and personal with the community. With that we are able to better become one with the community in this effort to fight crime. We are no longer this person that comes around only when something bad happens, but we are a staple in the community who comes around just because I’m checking on you. We come around just to say hello. We are accessible and we are more real to the community. The fact that we are those things makes crime prevention a joint venture between the police as well as the community.

Can you share an experience from your time on bike patrol that illustrates its benefits?

During my patrol one day a few months ago I stopped outside of the Iron Hill Brewery. I was sitting on my bike enjoying some light conversation with some of the patrons who were eating on the patio. It was at that time that I noticed some activity at the corner of Peachtree Rd. and Lenox Rd. Just as the activity caught my eye a call came over the radio with complaints of water boy activity. I quickly ended my conversation with the folks on the patio and responded to the location in seconds, while it took a car several minutes to get arrive. Upon my approach the young men saw me and began to scatter, and that’s where I got a real workout in for the day and these gentlemen began running in all directions. I rode up and down the hill trying to at least make contact with one or two of them. Although I was not able to make contact with either of them, they did clear the location and traffic was allowed to flow unimpeded. A few minutes later I noticed that they had relocated to Lenox Rd. and Phipps Blvd., so I pursued them again and this time they left the area completely. Several minutes after they left, a patrol car was finally able to make it through traffic and arrive on scene. 

That ability to respond quickly is one of the biggest assets that a bicycle patrol offers. It is incredibly beneficial for deterring crime in areas that are difficult for patrol cars to reach quickly.

 

This is sponsored content.

3 Comments

  1. Nicolas Uppal March 28, 2022 3:28 pm

    Bicycle patrol is excellent, and will, hopefully, slow the reckless and impetuous driving of the people who complain the loudest about Buckhead being part of Atlanta, yes I am talking about secessionists. Complaining loudly, while turning around and doing the exact thing they complain about, let he with sin…Report

    Reply
  2. Ronnie March 31, 2022 10:43 am

    Living at the corner of Peachtree and Peachtree Dunwoody I can say the bikes have not helped the speeding cars on Peachtree Dunwoody .4 bikes are good but some police cars authorize to apprehended would be of great help too. Then maybe those whom are burdened with the issues will feel some relief.Report

    Reply
  3. Atlanta citizen. April 3, 2022 2:48 pm

    Maybe cops shouldn’t spend so much of their time trying to chase down children. Maybe they should be an active joyful part of the community for all its citizens and not just the people who can afford to eat on patios. Maybe the cop should help the boys sell some water. Maybe we should buy them bicycles. Why is harming children the answer?Report

    Reply

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