The Anchorage Police Department is covering some new territory this summer and they’re doing it on two wheels.

Officers on bikes are patrolling more areas than ever before.

APD’s bike patrols are made up of teams of school resource officers. They work in the schools in the winter and hit the trails during the summer. In the past, the patrols have mainly stuck to the downtown area, but officer Doug Fifer said this year a dedicated foot patrol for downtown means the bike riding officers can spread out.

Fifer said officers are hitting the trails that connect neighborhoods all over town. And, they’re making a point of riding through the neighborhoods as well.

“People in the community will stop us and say they had a burglary recently or their neighbor did,” said Fifer. “Or they will have a question on an illegal camp or maybe a traffic issue. And we’ll either help them ourselves or direct them to a unit within APD that can help them.”

Fifer said riding a bike can have advantages for officers who can sometimes catch criminals who are unaware.

“Some of the crimes we come up on, maybe they don’t realize we are police officers which is good for us cause we literally can ride right up on a crime,” said Fifer.

The officers will be on duty until school starts in August. Fifer said several members of the APD’s Community Action Policing Unit (CAP team) also have bikes — including two with fat tires. He said those officers hope to ride through the winter.

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