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City to launch police bike patrols

April 26, 1997

By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

Hagerstown City Police will take to the streets on bicycles today for the first time following a week of training with police in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Three Hagerstown police officers graduated Thursday from the 32-hour course, said Martinsburg Police Chief Wayne Cleveland.

The officers learned how to apprehend suspects from the bikes, how to detect sabotage to their bikes and how ride on tricky terrain, such as steps, Cleveland said.

One of the Hagerstown bike officers helped offer a bike safety course at the Children's Village safety workshop in Hagerstown Friday, said Hagerstown Police Sgt. Margaret Kline.

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Weather permitting, the three newly trained bike officers will begin patrolling today in the downtown and Jonathan Street area, Kline said.

"They're ready to go. We were just waiting for the training," Kline said.

The officers were part of a group of 12 who were trained in Martinsburg, officials said. Other officers came from Charles Town and the 167th Airlift Wing of the Air National Guard in Berkeley County, officials said.

The class, which included classroom instruction, was offered free, Cleveland said.

Martinsburg has operated a successful bicycle patrol for two years, Cleveland said. The unit includes six bikes and nine officers, Cleveland said.

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