The Mountlake Terrace Police Department is rebooting the bicycle patrol program, with a modern spin.
Bicycle patrol in Mountlake Terrace has been around since the 1990s, but due to a number of factors, the program was suspended nearly a decade ago. The City Council approved bringing it back in the 2023-24 Biennial Budget.
The department recently purchased two electric-assisted mountain bikes and outfitted them with all the important equipment. Sgt. Scott Burkett, a biking enthusiast, chose these bikes because “they are designed to help officers reach their destination and still have enough energy left over to do their jobs.”
Officers Kyle O’Hagan and Jeremy Voeller were selected to lead the next generation of bicycle officers. Officer Voeller has a history of bicycle patrol with his former department and a strong interest in public outreach. Officer O’Hagan is the department’s community outreach officer. In that role, he has been working with an embedded social worker for the past year to establish connections with people in need.
Both officers recently attended a 36-hour training program focused on emergency vehicle operations for bicycles. This challenging training is designed to push officers to their physical limits.
“The renewal of the bicycle program will help spark an increase in community outreach and contacts, a continued point of emphasis for patrol,” Cmdr. Mike Haynes said. “Officers will be able to get to areas within the city that are difficult to access, enabling them to develop relationships and connect people with available resources.”
This improved coverage also boosts public safety in city parks and trail systems, and at community events.