In mid 1993, four officers with the Alvin Police Department took their first bicycle rides as adults. On borrowed department store bikes, the four ventured into the wooded trails inside Galveston Countyís Jack Brooks Park. Of all the off-road trails they could find, they unwittingly decided to learn to mountain bike on one of the few ďexpert-ratedĒ trails in southeast Texas.
After six months or so of riding in the school of hard knocks, the idea was hatched of starting a police bike patrol unit. There was only one other known police department in southeast Texas that had a bike patrol. Officers made a call to the Houston Police Departmentís bike patrol and started asking questions. Little did the officers suspect that these phone calls would start a relationship that has remained in effect and fostered a close-working relationship and teaching partnership.
Due to budget constraints, the officers had to go outside of the department for funding. After several news releases, a phone call was received from Mr. Wally Raybun, then owner and operator of Frobergís Funeral Home. Mr. Raybun purchased the first bicycle at a cost of $800.00. This included a $650 bicycle and $150 worth of equipment. After Mr. Raybunís initial purchase, the other three bikes came within months. (Thanks again, Wally!)
Once the unit was utilized to patrol the grounds of National Oak Park for Kiwanisí Crawfest, the request for their presence grew. Escorts and patrols of festival grounds were the order of the day, but not exactly what the bike patrol officers had in mind when they started the unit. Yet the unit grew to six bike patrol officers as donations for bikes and equipment continued to come in.
The Bike Patrol Unit has now grown to twelve officers, including one fulltime coordinator, two patrol sergeants, three patrol corporals, and seven patrol officers. The unit not only trains and certifies its own officers now, but it also trains officers from other agencies with I.P.M.B.A.ís Police Cyclist Course.
As well as a vaunted training program, the Bike Patrol Unit has two other successful programs. Each year the Blue Santa Program raises funds and delivers brand new bikes and helmets to area children, while the Unitís Bike Safety Education Program provides bicycle and personal safety education to hundreds of third graders in the Alvin Independent School District.
The Alvin Police Department Bike Patrol Unit continues to serve and protect our community.
The International Police
Mountain Bike Associationís
POLICE CYCLISTS COURSE
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1500 South Gordon Alvin Texas 77511