After a decade-long absence, the University Police Department (UPD) is reviving a bicycle training program for interested officers beginning this spring, with cops on bikes expected to reappear on campus in the fall semester.
The university will be purchasing new equipment and training officers in an effort to increase the face-to-face interaction with students, which most UPD officers prefer, according to Captain Kieran Barrett, spokesman for UPD.
The initiative represents the re-emergence of a tradition from the days before Montclair State College evolved into the university that it is today. In the 1990s, students would frequently see officers from UPD riding around campus on bicycles and ensuring the safety of the community through more personal interactions.
The bike officer program was disbanded in the 1990s, then made a brief resurgence around 2005. Barrett referred to the years since then as a “transition” period, during which officers were moved to vehicles due to the changing demands of campus life.
“The program was not ended so to speak,” said Barrett, explaining that the growing campus community signaled the need for increased vehicles in the place of officers on bicycles.
UPD is still in the planning stages of the program, but students will soon see cops riding around campus on bicycles, addressing the needs of the campus community and making their faces known.