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Hurlburt Field security to use bicycle patrols on base
HURLBURT FIELD - Security forces at Hurlburt Field don't just guard the gates. They're responsible for keeping order and preventing crime. The 1st Special Operations Security Forces Squadron is using bicycle patrols to increase their presence on base.
Bike patrols are a common sight in town. Then again, you can think of a military base as a small town. Meet the Hurlburt Field Bike Patrol.
This might be the picture that pops to mind when you think of military police officers heading to work. They also look like this.....a slightly slower pace, no less ready for the job.
SSgt Shawn Cox said, "M-9 pistol with thirty rounds. I got a Taser for less lethal force, handcuffs, radio."
Security force members have to request bike patrol duty and get some special training. The focus is community policing, being more visible and accessible.
Cox said, "Gets your face out there, community involvement, trying to put a good face on the police."
SSgt Aitor Simpson said, "Us being on a bicycle, people can actually come up to us, approach us, ask us directions to the area, any questions they have."
The officers said bikes go where patrol cars can't, making crimes of opportunity a little bit tougher.
Simpson said, "So you can prevent vandalism around the area, people actually jumping the fence line on the perimeter, things like that"
"We have basically the same problems as a small town with a lot of individuals living on it would, said Cox.
Bicycle patrols are on duty 24-7, as long as the weather permits.
If it's needed, the bike patrol can put on plenty of speed. They can get from one end of the base to the other in ten minutes.