Security has armed itself with a powerful new tool to better protect the university and bring officers closer to the community.
The department has acquired three new black Cannondale mountain bikes to use primarily in residential areas at night on the Mount Carmel Campus.
The bicycles, which are now being painted and equipped with security and first aid equipment, will help three specially-trained officers reach areas of campus more quickly.
David Barger, chief of security and safety, said he hopes to eventually increase the number of bicycles and trained officers to patrol all three campuses.
“It’s been a dream of mine since I got here 12 years ago to get a bike patrol rolling,” Barger said. In addition to faster response times, Barger said the bicycles’ visibility will likely lead to greater trust and more relationships between students and security personnel.
The unique layout of the Mount Carmel Campus lends itself to bicycle patrols, he said.
Nelson Arabazua, an instructor with the International Police Mountain Bike Association, recently trained Officers Kevin Bulluck, Brian Craco and Tracey McLean how to effectively ride, maneuver and use the vehicles.
The officers also learned advanced self-defense skills and how to be in better physical shape. Arabazua previously trained the Connecticut State Police, federal officers in Washington D.C. and the New York Police Department.
“These bikes will enable us to interact more with students and staff,” McLean said. “They can come up to us any time they want. We’re there for them.”