Roll out: Lebanon City Police get new E-bike for patrols

Matthew Toth  Lebanon Daily News

Lebanon City Police Department officials pedaled out their new policing tool while continuing to re-establish the city’s police bicycle unit in the community.

On Monday, department officials displayed their new Recon Interceptor electronic bike. An electronic bike, or e-bike, has an internal battery and motor to propel the bike forward even if the rider is not using the pedals.

The Lebanon City Police Department’s e-bike has a range of about 60 miles depending on the pedal assist, according to bicycle unit Officer Travis Pidcock.

“We’re able to respond to calls faster, and the biggest part of that is now we are not winded or exhausted,” he said. “If I need to start doing CPR, or rendering aid, I now have the energy to continue doing my job like I would in a patrol car.”

With the continuing renovations to the downtown area and various local coverage needs in the city’s parks, Lebanon Police Chief Bret Fisher said having an e-bike gives officers another option to police.

“Police departments, at least in a city environment, are transitioning to e-bikes,” Fisher said. “It just expands their usefulness and it expands their range, not only like for the Lebanon Valley Rails for Trails in the city… The e-bike gives us greater range to get to more places in a timely manner.”

The e-bike cost the department close to $5,000 and was paid for with donations from the Lebanon Federal Credit Union and Bennett Williams Real Estate, according to Fisher.

The Lebanon City Police Department at one point had up to eight officers certified for its bicycle unit, along with an in-house instructor that would hold classes for officers. As officers retired and manpower became an issue over the last couple years, Fisher said it became difficult to have a bike unit and still have a level of police service that was acceptable in the city.


With more officers joining the department over the last year, city officials began reactivating initiatives that included the K-9 officers and the bike patrol programs.

Along with Pidcock, the department has three certified officers for the bicycle unit. The department currently has two bicycles for the unit to use on patrol, the e-bike and a more than 20-year-old pedal bike that the department recently had serviced.

Over the past year the department was discussing having the bike patrols again, with Pidcock saying officers started using the bikes in December with the carriage rides. The unit also used pedal bikes during the city’s 2023 Holiday Parade.

“In large events, it’s nice to have something to patrol through crowds and be able to respond as the city hosts different events where patrol cars might not be able to get to very easily with a large group of people,” he said.

Most residents find members of the bicycle unit to be more approachable than officers sitting in cruisers, according to Pidcock. Bicycle officers tend to be intermingling with residents who are on foot more, including with kids in the community.

“To see a police officer on a bicycle is relatable to them,” he said. “They don’t get to drive police cars, but they get to drive their own bicycle. So the kids are very fascinated by the bike patrol.”

Pidcock added that the department also saves between 10 to 15 gallons of gas per shift using bicycles instead of working in a cruiser, which can be a fuel savings for the city over the course of a year.


In March, city officials presented Pidcock with a life-saving award for his actions responding to a report of shots fired on Nov. 22 on the 500 block of East Cumberland Street. When he arrived, Pidcock observed a man laying on the sidewalk injured from a gunshot wound.

While officials are still determining the future of the department’s bicycle unit, Pidcock hopes to see more officers riding on two wheels in the community.