Northeast Johnson County residents may notice a new addition to law enforcement efforts on and around Mission’s Johnson Drive in the coming weeks.
The Mission Police Department is preparing to roll out a new bike patrol program in the area later this month. Captain Kirk Lane said the program is part of the department’s efforts to bolster its community policing efforts.
“It’s a new face,” Lane said. “I think it’s something that’s needed with the revamping of Johnson Drive. It’s great for a community of our size for people to have a connection with the officers.”
The two officers assigned to the program will be adding bike patrols to their normal weekly schedules once or twice per week on random days. One of the officers will patrol Johnson Drive and neighboring residential areas. The other will be making nighttime rounds to apartment complexes.
“Those bicycles give you a different dimension of stealth mode when you’re driving through,” he said.
The city did have a bike patrol unit in the early to mid-2000s, but it was largely reserved for public events like parades. That program was discontinued around 2008. Talks about reviving and expanding the mission of the bike program began late last year. The department started taking active steps to relaunch the program – selecting uniforms, fitting the bicycles, sending the officers to special bicycle training school — this spring.
“We really want to get the foot traffic back on Johnson Drive,” Lane said of the program. “This is a good opportunity for our bike guys to be meeting the business owners.”