GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The Greenville Police Department Bike Team peddles with a purpose.
The team was formed in 2020 to help deal with large crowds situations that are becoming more regular in Greenville.
You’ll see officers patrolling streets or on The Swamp Rabbit Trail frequently, but the team’s best use is in situations like marches, protests or large events like the Red, White and Blue Festival later this year.
“It’s so much easier to engage with the community and talk to people from a bicycle than a car and it’s so much more effective than on foot,” Sergeant Michelle Lentz, of the Greenville Police Department, said.
The bike team currently has 29 members.
There are no age requirements, but each officer must complete a 40-hour training course. The type of riding is mountain bike-based, but to be used in an urban setting.
“People talk to us, smile and wave,” according to Sgt. Lentz. “Kids like to see us riding bicycles. It’s a really great community policing tool.”
The team has regular monthly training which starts with the basics: starting to ride as a group from a dead start.
“It’s hard to get 30 people to all do the same thing at the same time. It’s kind of like synchronized dance, choreography where you have to work and really train,” Lentz told 7NEWS.
“The team moves together. We stay in line together. It’s for safety so we’re not strewn out over the road.”
“It looks great, it looks professional. (I’m) very proud of where we’ve gotten this team in two and a half years.”