YSU Police Department introduces Bike Patrol

YSU police members on bikes on the campus of Youngstown State University, as part of the new Bike Patrol.

YSU Police Chief John Beshara, right, and Sgt. Dennis Godoy ride through campus as part of the new YSUPD Bike Patrol.

Youngstown State University police officers are pedaling across campus as part of the YSU Police Department’s new Bike Patrol.

“We’re always looking for ways to better serve and protect the campus community,” YSU Police Chief John Beshara said. “Putting officers on bicycles will allow us as a police department to be more effective in getting close up and personal with students, employees and visitors to campus.”

The YSUPD has purchased three mountain bikes, equipped with a siren horn, for the new patrol. The new unit was used for the first time at the YSU Summer Festival of the Arts on July 7 and 8 on campus. The bike patrol will be in addition to car and foot patrols currently in place.

Officers will be assigned to the bicycle patrol on a voluntary basis. Officers will be trained by a certified bicycle patrol instructor or will attend an approved basic police bicycle training/instruction course. Beshara said that currently there are no state mandates and/or uniform training standards for bicycle patrols. Officers will wear official YSUPD Bike Patrol uniforms. The patrol will attempt to operate year round, except during severe or inclement weather.

Beshara said other local law enforcement agencies, including the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, Youngstown Police Department and Millcreek MetroParks Police, have bicycle patrols. Those units may be used at YSU when needed to supplement the university’s bike patrol, he said.

“Our plan is for this unit to serve as an effective, proactive force in crime prevention, detection and enforcement,” he added.