MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – The Provost Marshal’s Office has recently restarted its Bike Patrol unit, which began in May and will continue until the Fall.
The Bike Patrol operates in different housing areas aboard Camp Lejeune to provide additional safety and security, according to Cpl. Lon Roberson, a military policeman with the Bike Patrol. It also shows a police presence to try and prevent crimes from taking place.
“Law enforcement is not all about catching the bad guy,” Roberson said. “It’s about crime prevention.”
The bikes allow the patrol to be more mobile and also more aware of their surroundings because they are not limited to a patrol vehicle, according to Roberson. This allows them to be able to patrol more constricted areas and are not restricted to the roads as they would be in a patrol vehicle.
The bikes facilitate law enforcement because they cover a lot of the same area in a short amount of time so they can possibly prevent crimes before they happen, according to Roberson. Instead of responding to a crime, they would like to stop it before it happens by maintaining a visible law enforcement presence.
“At first, we will give verbal warnings to residents and we make sure that the children in the housing area are safe and wearing safety equipment when out riding their bikes,” said Cpl. Jason P. Lamke, a military policeman with the bike patrol. The bike patrol is also able to issue traffic citations, and is able to respond to other law enforcement service calls such as assaults, larcenies, etc. Other types of incidents that the bike patrol encounters are mini-motorcycles illegally riding on roads, ATVs and dirt bikes illegally riding on roads and in the housing areas, and preventing malicious mischief.
The bikes also allow them to be more approachable and personable with the community, according to Roberson. People are very receptive to the patrol and the military policemen spend time talking to the residents of the housing areas to find out what’s going on in the neighborhood.
“When we are out riding, we are out there all day and making contact with people instead of driving around in a patrol vehicle,” Roberson said. “It’s more proactive and personal.”
The bike patrol underwent a weeklong intensive course on bike police work taught by the Jacksonville Police Department, according to Roberson. During the course, the military policemen learn how to operate as military policeman on a bicycle. They learn the basics of safe riding, endurance riding, and most importantly bike maintenance.
The bike patrol rides for an average of 40 miles during an 8-hour day, according to Roberson.
“It’s basically 8 hours of cardiovascular exercise,” Roberson said.
Almost all of the policemen on the patrol have at least two years of road time as a military policeman, according to Roberson.
The bike patrol has been proven as an effective law enforcement tool and a community policing resource. It helps to portray a positive image of law enforcement, and assists in keeping residents safe and deterring crime.