WSU police department starts bicycle patrol


Khánh Nguyễn / The Sunflower

Officer Matthew Feldt rides a bike patrolling campus. The campus police hope this program will grow and make them more approachable for students as well as demonstrate bike safety on campus.

Wichita State campus police began a bicycle patrol on Monday to allow officers to interact more and be able to patrol places vehicles may not be able to access.

Officer Matthew Feldt asked Police Chief Rodney Clark if there was interest in a bicycle patrol program and was the one who led the initiative to bring it to campus. Clark said the bike patrol will add another level of safety.

“It’s hard to approach someone in a vehicle, it’s much easier to approach someone on a bike and that’s what I want students to take from the bike patrol, it’s just an additional method of safety,” Clark said. 

Being more visible and more approachable is a goal Clark says the campus police is hoping to achieve with this form of patrol. 

“There is a lot of mystique around law enforcement especially now, but we just want students to know our purpose is safety, and if the bicycle patrol offers another form of safety then it is fulfilling that purpose,” Clark said. 

The program is currently in the testing stage but with more interest Clark said he wants to see it grow. As of now there is only one officer patrolling on a bicycle but in the future the campus police are hoping for more.

More campuses across the country are utilizing bicycle patrols to demonstrate bicycle safety and become more personable with students on campus. The bikes are also environmentally friendly and are already prevalent on campus, leading many campus police to invest in bikes. 

Students on campus often ride bikes to save money and get around quicker within campus. WSU student Arturo DonJuan is interested but has his concerns. 

“I have a lot of friends who ride their bikes to campus, so having an officer riding around would be cool,” DonJuan said. “I guess my only concern would be with COVID-19, and managing that with this program.”