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Cop teams uses pedal power

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POSTED: June 13, 2008
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Cop teams uses pedal power

large photo Officers Jeff Miller and Jamall Hicks traded their gray patrol cars for a more fuel-efficient form of transportation.

The Georgia College Public Safety officers volunteered to use their own muscle power to resurrect the university’s bike patrol.

“The bike is a great tool. It makes me more accessible,” said Miller, 49, who formerly raced bikes competitively. “We can just roll right up there. Especially at night, you can’t see us and can’t hear use.”

The bike partners have used their sneak-up power and the lights and siren on Hicks’ bike to pull over a driver cutting donuts along Hancock Street.

“Imagine the driver’s surprise when he realized he had been pulled over by a bike,” Miller said. “And we write ‘Bike Patrol’ on the citations we issue.”

Public Safety Director Dave Groseclose understands the merit of the bike team but also is watching the bottom line of the department’s fuel costs.

The two-man bike patrol saves the university about $60 per shift in fuel costs, plus the added benefit of less wear and tear on two patrol cars, Groseclose said.

“It’s not only the fuel savings but also makes the officers more visible, and it’s really good public relations with the campus community and visitors,” Groseclose said.

Both Miller and Hicks stepped up for the duty when a call went throughout the
department for volunteers to man the bikes.

“It’s a great way to get out among the people instead of observing from a patrol car,” said Hicks, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan. “I can make face-to-face contact and get a little exercise.”

Maj. Joe Grant helped reorganization the bike patrol and often rides the beat himself.

“Its very effective,” Grant said. “It’s community policing at its best.”

The major obstacle for the pedal patrol: the heat.

“It’s hot,” said Miller who wears shorts to work these days. “But there’s nothing I’d rather do.”

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For more information, contact Judy Bailey in University Communications at (478) 445-4477.