SHOUT OUT: The Palisades Interstate Parkway Police have added a bicycle unit to park patrols.
The unit “allows officers more advantages with public outreach and response,” PIPP Chief Michael Coppola said. “The officers will gain mobility in their patrol operations by reaching more remote locations in less time but also allow them to patrol more crowded areas where patrol vehicles are impractical.”
It also better connects the department with the enormous bicycling community — amateur and professional — that uses the New Jersey section of Palisades Interstate Park.
When the idea came up, Coppola said, he reached out to the department for volunteers.
Within a few hours, nearly a dozen officers responded, he said.
“The members were tasked with equipment research, policy creation, and uniform design,” Coppola said. “The members also created the Class A division patch which is only worn by those members active in the Bicycle Unit.”
Detective Lt. Roman Galloza is overseeing the unit, whose day-to-day operations are supervised by Sgt. Fabricio Salazar.
All unit officers must meet certain requirements, including health and wellness levels.
Six are being trained now, and the rest will be completed by summer’s end, Coppola said.
In order for the new unit to be successful we felt it was important to collaborate with those who are experts in the field on a daily basis. In doing so,
Helping create the unit was Carine Joannou, president of Jamis Bicycles in Northvale New Jersey ( www.JamisBikes.com ).
Coppola said his team discussed “what the needs of the bicycle community were, how we could meet them, and what the bicycle community would benefit most from a unit such as ours” with her.
Joannou then donated six new model Trail X3 bicycles and helped the department get the necessary equipment for each rider.
“It is a perfect alignment for our company to work with the law enforcement community on a project that is designed to enhance bicycle safety in the community,” Joannou said. “We feel the Trail X3 bicycles were perfect for their patrols on the roadway, as well as the rugged off road terrain they have in the area.”
TOP PHOTO (l. to r.): Sgt. Fabricio Salazar, P.O. Joseph Villone, P.O. Gregory Kimbro P.O. Jeffrey Lamboy