A $10,000 donation helped Glendale police purchase a dozen new bicycles last week to beef up two-wheeled patrols in the city's parks and business district.
The donor — a local resident who wishes to remain anonymous — requested that the funds be used to assist police officers in their daily operations.
With the purchase, Glendale police now have 29 bicycles, which are primarily deployed on weekdays.
"This is a great way for officers to gain entry and keep an eye on the parks for illegal activity, with an emphasis on drinking and drugs," said Glendale Police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot.
This marks the donor's third $10,000 contribution to the Glendale police force in three years.
Last year, the funds went toward making improvements to the Montrose substation, which included replacing the facility's old walls and making electrical and plumbing repairs. Other renovations included new carpet, art work, a television, a fingerprinting table and a new floor plan.
Currently, 56 Glendale police officers are trained to work on bikes, though the agency is looking to increase that number. With trained bicycle-policing instructors on staff, Glendale offers in-house training to its own police officers, as well as to those from other agencies.
"Now the entire department is interested in the bike program — we have detectives that are riding and we are looking into training our Explorers and cadets," Lightfoot said, adding that last month, the bike patrols logged 60 arrests and issued 202 citations.
According to Lightfoot, the bike patrols were crucial earlier this year in catching a suspected arsonist accused of setting more than two dozen fires. Part of that was due to the ability of bike officers to squeeze into alleys and parks that were inaccessible to patrol cars during the investigation.
Additionally, bike officers are more approachable to people in the community, said Glendale Police Sgt. Oscar Rodriguez, who oversees the program.