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Old 05-23-2014, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Pebble Creek area
23 posts, read 24,493 times
Reputation: 12

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I don't know if it recently started, but lately I've seen a motorcycle mounted officer riding up and down the Swamp Rabbit trail. I've also seen officers on a Gator type vehicle downtown. Being a cyclist that grew up around bike trails, this seems odd to me.

The trail systems I've been on in the past generally had bicycle mounted officers wearing golf shirts that said "police" on them. Kind of a bike trail version of walking a beat. I've talked to many of these officers and most are not "full on" police officers, but rather volunteers or part timers. Their job on the trail is as a police presence, they generally carry a defibrillator, first aid kit, and most importantly, a radio. If any real criminals or victims need attention, they call it in. Everybody I talked to considered it a premium job. Those areas where officers rotate into the role love it, as it's an opportunity to exercise all day in a friendly environment.

The motorcycle on the trail just seems wrong. I appreciate that the Greenville PD is patrolling the trail, but I hate that so costly a resource is being used in place of what could probably be some pretty inexpensive help. The motorcycle is also pretty intimidating on the trail, as it's really not that wide. The officer riding the motorcycle seemed pretty cognizant of the size of his vehicle vs. the bikers and walkers - he didn't look like he was having a good time.

I also have experienced that the trails need to be kept crime free for people to use them and build up the area around them. One of the cities I lived in had a long trail that went through some pretty industrial/bad neighborhoods. Crime in that one section would get reported as "crime on the trail" and folks would be afraid to go out on the trail 15 miles away from the crime scene. So keeping things safe is key to keeping the trails.

Any thoughts on this?
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:20 AM
 
205 posts, read 286,608 times
Reputation: 136
Motorcycle patrol on the trail has been going on for years. He's friendly.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
10,068 posts, read 19,940,759 times
Reputation: 2657
The reason they use motorcycles and gators is so they can get to the scene of an emergency faster. A bicycle would take too long.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:51 AM
 
1,525 posts, read 1,911,745 times
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There have been several robberies and assaults on the Swamp Rabbit Trail over the last two years, so it is very good that the police are patrolling it.

My wild guess is that a police officer on a motorcycle would be more of a psychological deterrent to crime than a bicycle police officer.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:52 AM
 
1,445 posts, read 1,991,170 times
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The city had used patrol bicycles both on the trail and in the city. The officers who rode them liked the police bikes as a tool. I haven't seen them anywhere recently though.
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Old 05-25-2014, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Simpsonville
321 posts, read 376,210 times
Reputation: 114
Default Police

I believe that some are County Police (motorcycle) and others may be Greenville Police? IMHO.
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Old 05-25-2014, 07:45 AM
 
1,118 posts, read 1,184,127 times
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Yeah, if a motorcycle is riding down the trail, that is a big negative.

Someone said that the crime on the trail is not any higher than the area at large, it just gets more than its fair share of coverage in the media.

I've seen the ATVs and smaller vehicles off the trail at certain points monitoring things. If anything, it seems like there is too much of a presence there, but then again maybe if there was not, more crime would happen.

I've seen highway patrol breaking the "no cell phone while driving" law lately and I guess this is another example of where laws like "no motorcycles on the trail" don't apply to the police force.

One factor to keep in mind that police have to wear heavy equipment like bullet proof vests, handcuffs, and weapons which would weigh one down on a bike. This would naturally slow the officer down who is in pursuit of a perp.

The lighter weight patrol who just calls things in might not send the right message to criminals and leave an officer in a vulnerable situation when a citizen needed help. Some criminals tend not to fear the "rent-a-cops" that have no real ability to apprehend them or use deadly force.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Simpsonville, SC
193 posts, read 197,682 times
Reputation: 108
I'm glad to see motorcycle officers on the trail for a quick response time. I have seen him quite a few times and he is always patrolling at "bicycle speed" so I feel there is no safety issue whatsoever.
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