UPD on-campus bike patrol gains attention

As students walk through the campus of Sam Houston State University, they undoubtedly have noticed University Police Department officers patrolling on bikes. This bike patrol program has been active for a number of years and is a viable source to the safety of the faculty, staff, students and visitors at SHSU.
While the University is not exactly ‘vehicle equipped’ in many places throughout campus, officers traveling on bike have an advantage over many obstacles that a vehicle bound officer would face as the campus sees more building additions and less accessible roadways.
“In many instances I can gain access with greater efficiency due to travel routes not accessible by motor vehicles and the ability to ‘dodge’ traffic issues prevalent on campus,” UPD officer Keith Underwood said.
According to Police Chief Kevin Morris, the bike patrol program puts officers right in the middle of campus making them easily accessible and approachable to the public.
Bike patrol officers have even noticed an increase in the amount of people that are approaching them to talk – something most officers would not have happen as frequently while in a motor vehicle.
“People have commented on enjoying [having] an officer immediately accessible for questions and advice they may have just let go had I not been around,” Underwood said. “Some of the proposed legislation about weapons carry and ambiguous state law are common topics of discussion.”
According to Underwood, bicycle officers are usually regarded as less imposing and more accessible by the public, lending themselves to be a valuable community resource for law enforcement.
With the presence of officers on campus, many students have a better gut feeling knowing that an officer is just a pedal stroll away.
“It’s nice having officers on campus and knowing that they are close in case something were to happen,” junior accounting major Taylor Price said.

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