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Santa Barbara Police Bike Team now rides e-bikes

Santa Barbara Police adds e-bikes to its patrol

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-Santa Barbara Police got e-bikes just in time for Old Spanish Days.

So in addition to patrolling in cars they had members of a bike team making the rounds on Trek Police Electric bikes during Fiesta.

Interim Chief Marylinda Arroyo and Commander Charles Kasapis saw some at a conference and liked the idea of getting a few for the force.

A grant helped the department buy three electric bikes and they would like to find funding for more.

Santa Barbara Police Department Public Information Officer Ethan Ragsdale considers them an intuitive way of policing.

"I've actually ridden them, they're actually great." said Sgt. Ragdale, "I see why the officers love riding them. and they're just a more modern effective tool we have now, in our inventory to help officers cut down response times, and get to calls quicker."

Reserve officers can use them when Bike Team members are done with their shifts.

Residents are likely to see them patrolling the State St. promenade, the beachfront, the Mesa and Milpas Street daily. Officers on the bikes are able to patrol a larger geographical area and they last longer than they would on a pedal-only bike.

The e-bikes can go about 28 mph.

"It saves them a lot of energy. If they need to get somewhere fast, pedaling quickly, they can get there with less effort," said Sgt. Ragsdale.

Officers ride with a partner and try not to leave them unattended. If they do have to lock them up they actually use handcuffs.

The Bike Team wants to give a shout out to Bicycle Bob's in Goleta for putting some custom touches on the black and white bikes. Bicycle Bob added lights and more.

Santa Barbara Police isn't the only agency using e-bikes. Carpinteria Police Officers and the Isla Vista Foot Patrol members ride them, too.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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