MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (Feb. 1, 2012) --
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point held its first official tactical bike patrol course Jan. 30 through Feb. 3 at the Training and Education building on the air station.
Craven Community College conducted the one-week-long course, designed to train law enforcement how to ride under unforseen circumstances. Twelve Marines and civilians with the MCAS Cherry Point Provost Marshal’s Office participated.
“Any police officer can ride a bike,” said Lance Cpl. Christopher W. Pettey, a military police officer with PMO. “But the class is designed for the officers to learn their limitations while riding.”
Bike patrolling is a way to try to establish a greater law enforcement presence on base because of the many advantages there can be to using bikes instead of cars.
“You can go places on a bike that you can’t in a car,” said Cpl. Stephen E. Partridge, a military police officer with PMO.
To test the Marines’ endurance, they went on a 25-mile bike ride on base, which was a buildup to the 70-mile ride they completed toward the end of the course. The Marines also learned how to tactically employ their bikes in a hostile environment, where they may need to use a pistol or do take downs from a bike.
Being on a bike makes it possible to go in between houses, down stairs and even ride in the hallways of the barracks, said Partridge.
The course showed the Marines that constantly riding a bike can be exhausting, but at the same time, it is a change of pace from what they’re used to.
“You have to be in good physical condition to be a part of the bike patrol,” Pettey said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the bike patrol works for the community.”