Campus police take to the streets on two wheels

The Office of Safety and Security at Tennessee Technological University has a new form of transportation -- bicycles. Two Fila 18-speed mountain bikes were donated by Pepsi Cola Co. at the request of Gay Shepherd, the interim director of Safety and Security.

"The likelihood that this new method of patrolling will work well on our campus is very high because it has worked well for other campuses," Shepherd said. "It brings the security officers closer to the population, and mobility is easier for them."

The Tech Village Residents Association contributed to the "bike watch" effort by donating money for bike equipment. The equipment includes gear bags, racks for the gear bags, U-bolt titanium locks, identification stickers and blue lights.

Two Safety and Security officers, Rusty Boles and Charlie Sparks, were the first to volunteer to use the bikes during duty. One of the benefits of using the bikes for patrol is that the officers can increase their physical fitness.

According to Shepherd, the bikes are also beneficial because they don't have the mileage restrictions of the patrol cars, which can only be driven a certain amount of miles.