ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Some deputies in Ascension Parish have found a new, more creative way to fight crime. It involves two wheels and the element of surprise.
Deputies Ty Cobb and Sam Schexnayder have parked their patrol car and mounted a pair of bicycles.
“Alright let’s cruise,” Schexnayder said.
The men peddle at an even pace, looking for anything that might appear to be out of the ordinary. Their senses: sight, sound, and smell are their guides. “Yeah, let’s check this vehicle out,” Schexnayder said.
The deputies are equipped with almost everything you would find in their patrol cars, except for maybe a laptop. Deputy Cobb says he got the idea from one of his military brothers. “I was at drill with the National Guard. Me and my lieutenant were talking. He’s a deputy in Lafourche. He brought up an idea that he just got qualified to be a bike patrolman, and I thought it would be a good asset for our department,” Schexnayder said.
Ascension Parish Chief Deputy Bobby Webre told them to put the idea on paper. The rest is history. “It’s kind of, to me, like a modern day posse,” Webre said.
Webre says in just three short months, the concept has really taken off. “We’ve proven already that they have been very effective when it comes to fighting crime,” he said.
The chief deputy says the bike patrol unit has made several drug and weapons arrests. Car burglaries are also high on their list. Webre says the seven-member team is not limited to just street crimes. “We’ve had domestic violence complaints. The guys on the bicycles were able to roll up on the couple arguing and they never even knew they were there,” Webre said.
The idea behind it is to get a better handle on crime, but it also allows the deputies to connect with the communities they serve. They patrol during parades, events, and at football games. Deputy Cobb says they have already picked up a few fans. “We’ve even had kids want to ride with us on their bikes. They love it,” he said.
The deputies admit being able to stay fit while they ride the clock is not so bad either. “I enjoy riding on a bike every day. It’s something I like doing, and I get to police at the same time,” Cobb said.
Deputies must go through five days of rigorous training before they can become part of the bike patrol. Ascension Parish has an eighth bike ready and waiting for a trained patrolman. The deputies also work some shifts patrolling by car.