Algonquin College launches bike patrol program
Algonquin College Police Foundations students will be supporting the local O.P.P’s goal of “policing in partnership”.
For the upcoming school year, the college’s Police Foundations program will be reviving their bike patrol program in partnership with the City of Pembroke, the Pembroke Business Improvement Area (PBIA) and the Ontario Provincial Police.
“We used to have the bike patrol program at the old campus in partnership with the Pembroke Police. After stopping it for awhile, we’re now re-energizing it with the help of the City of Pembroke and the PBIA who paid to get the bikes refurbished and tuned up,” said Algonquin College Police Foundations program coordinator Dan Labelle.
According to Labelle, the students will be getting outside on the college’s bikes – that were tuned and refurbished with funds from the PBIA – to patrol the city, engage with the community and report crimes and suspicious behaviour to the O.P.P.
“They’re going to be the eyes and ears for the community and report anything that is happening in the community that's either illegal or dangerous,” said Labelle.
O.P.P. staff sergeant Dean Duchrow said the initiative will be a win-win for everyone as it will reduce calls for service for the police, support a safer community and benefit the Police Foundation students as far as getting their community volunteer hours and interaction with the police.
“Extra eyes on the ground is perfect and if it can reduce any calls for service as far as the O.P.P. goes that benefits everyone,” said Duchrow. “So if they see some kind of altercation then they would call it in for us and report it. But sometimes they might be able to avoid that call for service by calling the city’s public works department for instances like if they see a stop sign that’s been knocked down.”
As it’s a volunteer bike patrol initiative, the student who accumulates the most hours will have the opportunity to receive an award from the O.P.P. upon graduation from the one-year program.
“I think this is a good opportunity to show everyone that the students in the upcoming Police Foundations program are willing to volunteer their time in the community and that we care about the community and we’re out there,” said Mackenzie Steeves, student in the Police Foundations program.