The Fort Myers Police Department can effortlessly navigate through crowds during busy street events thanks to donated E-Bikes that can reach 28 mph and last 45 miles.
If you’re an officer responding to an emergency, getting through a crowd in your vehicle can be difficult or even impossible. But, if they’re responding with an E-Bike, it becomes much easier.
“Having a bicycle that allows you to take maybe a different route or get through a crowd a lot quicker… to be able to respond to the scene faster,” community policing officer, Bill Schettino, said.
Four E-Bikes were donated to Fort Myers police from a California company called Aventon EBikes.
New E-Bikes donated to the FMPD. CREDIT: WINK News
“If they’re responding to a fight or something like that, and it’s a distance away, that office is going to be spent by the time he gets there. This way, he won’t be out of breath. He can take care of, you know, the situation, be thinking more clearly,” acting Fort Myers police chief Randy Pepitone, said.
And nobody knows that better than the officers who, before Friday, were riding traditional pedal bikes.
“You do a couple miles at a high rate of speed on a bicycle, and, absolutely, you’re going to be winded when you get there. So, having this electric… adding the electric element to the bike, it’s a whole other world it opens up for us,” community policing officer Bill Schettino said.
The E-Bikes will be used daily, but their primary function will be to help keep people safe when you’re at big events in Fort Myers. You’ll see the officers at art walks, music walks, and other big events like the Edison Festival of Light Parade.
“Absolute win for the community. It’s a win for us. It’s a win for everybody,” Schettino said.
Screen displaying battery life and speed. CREDIT: WINK News
And community engagement is another factor Schettino said it’s not easy connecting with people from a police cruiser.
“It gives you the ability to, you know, not drive past people, but stop and talk to them and just be engaged with the community on, you know, a regular basis,” Schettino said.
Pepitone said the E-Bikes would also be very helpful during the summer months. He explained in the past, riders could not stay out of the heat for very long, and the E-Bikes will keep officers in the community for longer periods.