By Chris Gadd, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee, Dec. 8, 2017
The Dickson Bicycle Patrol is a new, two-person unit: Cpl. Dustin Hargrove and Cpl. Levi Davis. Chris Gadd/The Herald
“High speed” chases won’t be quite the same in the latest Dickson Police unit.But, then again, pursuing bad guys — while certainly possible — was not a top priority when new Chief Jeff Lewis instituted the Dickson bicycle patrol.
The cyclist officers, Cpl. Dustin Hargrove and Cpl. Levi Davis, pedaled into their debut at the Thanksgiving morning Give ‘N Gobble 5K in Downtown Dickson. Temperatures that morning hovered in the 30s.
“It’s not bad. I doubled up on layers,” said Davis, moments after chatting with runners.
Davis said the face-to-face community interaction is invaluable.
“You get out and about. Police are a lot more approachable than a guy in his car with the window rolled up,” Davis said.
Hargrove echoed his partner.
“We have already shaken more hands this morning than we ever could in a patrol car,” Hargrove said.
The officers are patrolling with Volcanic Bikes, a Washington state-based company that hand-makes the “Approach Patrol Bicycles” in Washington.
“Volcanic has really started to make a name for themselves lately,” said Davis about the company, which first made bikes for the Seattle police department. “The Volcanics are made specifically for law enforcement needs.”
The bicycle purchases were made possible through a grant from VF Jeanswear company, said Dickson Police Sgt. David Cole.
Both Hargrove and Davis, who were chosen from other applicants for the position, are now certified through the International Police Mountain Biking Association.
Cole said they will patrol “really anywhere we need them but mainly around Main Street and immediate surrounding areas.” The two-wheeled patrol team will also improve police coverage during parades and other events where “there are large amounts of people,” Cole said.
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee also recently provided a grant to the department for the purchase of a bicycle trailer, said Cole, who is receiving price quotes for the trailer now.
And, about the high-speed chases, Davis said they can move quicker than you might think, with more stealth.
“You are quiet, but you are still fast. People never expect to see police on a bike,” Davis said.
Added Hargrove: “It’s fun being able to get involved with the community more."