Madison County Transit donated two electric bikes to the SIUE police department as part of an effort to patrol the trails that go around and through campus, which also allows them to more efficiently police larger events and sporting events.
The electric bikes, which are outfitted with sirens, lights, bag holders and other necessities are a donation from Madison County Transit. SJ Morrison, the managing director of MCT, said the bikes were a donation as part of a partnership between the MCT and local municipalities and universities.
“For the last several years, Madison County Transit has been providing police bicycles, with the goal being not only patrolling the neighborhoods in the downtown areas, but, in part, for patrolling bike trails,” Morrison said.
There are more than 138 miles of bikeways throughout Madison County. Morrison said many of them connect to the SIUE campus, and by donating the bikes, they are creating a sense of safety on the many miles of trails throughout campus.
“We’ve really found that it’s been a great partnership for law enforcement to be seen on the trails. It’s been good for MCT,” Morrison said.
Kasey Hoyd, a detective with the SIUE Police Department, said that the bikes provide the department with another element to be able to connect with the community. The all-electric bikes will allow officers to quickly reach parts of campus that may be more difficult to reach with a squad car, according to Hoyd.
“While we can actually get our squad cars on the trails, the bikes give us an ability to maneuver quickly and get down the trails if someone is injured or needs help,” Hoyd said.
Hoyd said the bikes allow the department to patrol larger events safely, especially sporting events at Korte Stadium or events on the Quad. The bikes are able to reach speeds of 30 miles per hour.
“It is another enhanced ability to patrol campus,” Hoyd said.
Hoyd said there are currently four officers trained to patrol on the bikes, and the department is looking into training more.
Chancellor Minor said the collaboration is a chance to create a wonderful partnership between the university and surrounding communities.
“This is a beautiful demonstration of community partnerships that I think will be mutually beneficial for the university, but also for the surrounding community,” Minor said.
Morrison said MCT not only owns and maintains the bike trails, but provides other public transit options such as a paratransit service for the elderly and disabled, as well as running the public buses used by many college students.
“We are working to help make Madison County not only more walkable and bikeable, but also provide accessible transportation for people in all communities of all abilities and of all socio-economic levels,” Morrison said.