07/19/2006

(Editors, News Directors: Members of the new bike patrol unit will be available, Thursday, July 20 at 10 a.m. Media interested in covering the unit should meet in the lobby of Ruby Memorial Hospital. Contact Steve Bovino, HSC News Service at (304) 293-7087 with any questions.)

WVU Security Adds Bike Patrol

Supported by Wellness Program

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. –  They won’t be riding the 96 miles to the Champs-Élysées, the final stage of the Tour de France, but five West Virginia University Hospital police officers will begin logging some serious miles on two wheels.

As part of the healthy campus initiative, WVUH security is adding a bicycle patrol unit to its existing force. The unit is supported by the Wellness Program.

"We are excited about the new unit,” said Dan Harris, manager, WVUH Security. “Not only will our officers be more visible and approachable, we will save money on fuel as well.”

The bikes, made by Smith and Wesson, are specifically made to meet the demands of police patrol. The 27-speed bike provides comfort for the officer, but is designed to withstand the rigors of police work.

Officers will be outfitted in standard bike shorts and shirts, and will also wear helmets, safety gloves and safety glasses. They will wear their usual duty belts as well.

“Safety of the officers is a priority,” said Harris. “We are taking every precaution to ensure the officers are safe while doing their duty.”      

The unit will patrol the parking lots and parking garage areas of WVU Hospitals. They will enforce all parking policies, assist patients and visitors with questions or concerns, and respond to calls for assistance.

They will begin patrol on the day shift. Eventually their duties will expand to night shift. They will also be present during WVU home football games.

“The visibility of officers biking is a great promotion of physical activity on the health sciences campus,” said Dave Harshbarger, program director of the Wellness Program. “Part of our healthy campus initiative is to increase pedestrian as opposed to vehicular traffic.”

Harris added that Chief Bob Roberts of WVU Department of Public Safety agreed to have officers from the DPS bicycle patrol provide additional training to the new unit

- WVU -


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For more information:
Steve Bovino, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
bovinost@wvuh.com
sb:07-19-06

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