Chief Daniel Valadas is pleased to announce the return of active bicycle patrols to the Ludlow Police Department.
As of July 18, active bicycle patrol officers returned to the first and second patrol operation shifts. Community members can expect to see bicycle patrols during the daylight and early evening hours in commercial areas, town parks, school properties and in areas where cruiser patrols are not feasible.
Over the past few months, the department has sent three officers to the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) Police Cyclist Course, which is considered to be the national standard for these operations. The IPMBA Cyclist Courses are offered nationwide and many local cities, towns and states have offered the course throughout the years.
Most recently, the Enfield Police Department in Connecticut trained several Ludlow police officers.
Ludlow officers who have successfully completed the training thus far are Sgt. Sean Knox, Sgt. Jason Chelo, Officer Jordan Liszka, Officer Jhon Wielblad and Officer Ryan Churchill. Several officers from the department’s Special Police Unit are also certified.
The Ludlow Police Department also plans to have three additional officers, Officers Nathan Goodrow, Jacob Stokowski and Gabriel Cordeiro, attend IPMBA Cyclist Courses in September. Following their training, the department will have a total of two sergeants and six officers who are fully-equipped and trained in bicycle patrol.
In the mid-1990s the Ludlow Police Department began conducting bicycle patrols after receiving community policing grants to supplement the costs of training and equipment for the unit. These proactive community patrols continued until the early 2000s.
In recent years, the department has decreased bicycle patrol and only occasionally deployed bicycle patrol officers, most notably for special town events. These patrols were predominantly conducted by special police officers.
“Our previously established bicycle patrol unit was well-received within our community and proved to be an effective way to patrol our streets. We are extremely pleased to bring this unit back to Ludlow,” Chief Valadas said. “We would also like to thank the residents and businesses that have contributed donations to our community policing efforts. This endeavor was possible thanks to their generous contributions.”