The Beaverton Police Department maintains a Bicycle Unit to provide an effective means of patrolling the downtown core area, city parks, transit centers, and neighborhoods.
The Police Bicycle Unit was formed in 1994, and operated on a part-time basis. By 1996, the demands for the Unit's services increased significantly, and the Unit was utilized full-time. The Bicycle Unit now works year round and halts operations only during snow or icy conditions.
With the arrival of TriMet's light rail system, specific emphasis was placed upon providing police visibility at the City's light rail stops, and the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District Nature Park. These areas were targeted for enforcement details to help ensure the safety of citizens making use of these amenities. The Nature Park is located southeast of the light rail stop at SW 158th and Merlo Road. Bicycle officers ride through the park's hiking and biking paths to ensure citizen safety and to assist park rangers with transient issues that arise.
The Bicycle Unit maintains a strong relationship with the business community. Patrolling the core areas of Beaverton on bicycle gives members of the Bicycle Unit a unique opportunity to interact with the community. The contact they make with citizens is important. It allows the Department to meet with community members, and listen to their ideas and opinions. In return, it provides an easy means for citizens to personally meet their police force.
Time is also spent at Beaverton schools to promote a safe environment for students returning from or leaving for home. Bicycle officers are traditionally more approachable than those officers in cars. Bicycle officers' mode of transportation provides a more open line of communication with the students which is important in creating and maintaining positive relationships.
The Bicycle Unit provides community education in the form of bicycle safety training for many young students as a result of requests from civic organizations and schools. They conduct bicycle safety classes for citizens as well as bike rodeos for younger children.
The Bicycle Unit continues to set the standard in the areas of training and education. The department produces training workshops for bicycle officers from around the State. In addition, it provides educational opportunities to school children and adults throughout the City.