DATE: Friday, April 01, 2016
SUBJECT: Non-Motorist Safety Program
RELEASE NUMBER: 2016-NR-018
CONTACT: Lt. Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding
On Friday, April 01, 2016 at 2:00pm the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference at the University of Southern Indiana to announce a new Non-Motorist Safety program.
The new program utilizes specially outfitted bicycles that allow sheriff’s deputies to patrol walking paths, bicycle trails and neighborhood streets within the county. The goal of the new program is to increase bicyclist and pedestrian safety. Funding for the program is being provided by a grant from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Sheriff Dave Wedding explained, “When ICJI announced they were looking for creative proposals to help reduce injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists, our office jumped at the opportunity. We created a unique program equally focused on education and enforcement, which ended up being the model adopted by ICJI for the entire state.”
More than just putting “cops on bikes”, the program is designed to facilitate positive interaction with the public and encourage safe behavior on the part of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. While the primary focus of the program is traffic safety, bicycle patrol deputies will be uniquely positioned to detect crime and respond to emergencies. Bicycle deputies will be equipped to investigate crimes, make arrests, assist the public and provide first aid.
The Sheriff’s Office acquired three Patrol Bicycles from iForce of Butler, Pennsylvania. iForce is currently the only manufacturer of police bicycles that fabricates their frames and electrical systems entirely within the United States. The bicycles are equipped with emergency lights and sirens as well as equipment carriers.
Sheriff Wedding added, “We are proud of the program we have built and will continue to look for creative and innovative ways to better serve the residents and visitors of our county.”
The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following partners who help make this program possible: Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, University of Southern Indiana, Burdette Park, Angel Mounds State Historical Site, Westbrook Mobile Home Court, Eastbrook Mobile Home Court, Mill Creek Estates, Indian Woods-Windsong Neighborhood Association, Evansville Metropolitan Planning Organization, United Neighborhoods of Evansville and the Evansville Area Trails Coalition.
Pictured above (left to right): Mr. Mark Hartman (ICJI), Deputy Nathan Espenlaub, Lt. Noah Robinson, Deputy Andrew Norris, Sheriff Dave Wedding.
Pictured above: Deputy Andrew Norris talks about bicycle safety with Cub Scouts at Daniel Wertz Elementary School.