Clad in bright yellow shirts and head gear, the two are decked out in police gear and ready to patrol the streets of downtown Cartersville although their mode of transportation isn’t the standard sedan with flashing lights.
After many starts and stops over the years, the Cartersville Police Department Bike Patrol is back in the swing of things and even though summer is winding down, the beefed up presence at the center of town will stick around.
“We’re being more proactive,” Wade said. “It gives officers an opportunity to interact with the public on a different level and it’s also exercise.”
Wade said the bike patrol unit will be most visible downtown and during special events on day and night shifts.
Sparacio said having officers patrol by bike is just another way to show the community the police are present and ready and willing to provide assistance to its citizenry.
“It shows the citizens we aren’t just sitting around in our air-conditioned cars — we are out in the community to make the community better,” Sparacio said. “You’re actually out here able to talk to people and see what their needs are. We’re not here just to take you to jail. We’re here to be your friend.”
In the past, bike patrols by the police department were suspended because of the department wasn’t fully staffed but Maj. Jason Diprima, who heads up the bike patrol, said it never really went away.
But after an armed robbery and assault at a downtown business, Chief Thomas Culpepper wanted to organize the unit again this summer to make patrols in the area more personal.
“Chief Culpepper wanted to send a message of more security,” Diprima said. “It’s based on the need in the community.”
Wade said the community has responded well to the bike patrol unit.
“They seem happy to have us out here,” Wade said.