by: Tenikka Smith Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte Area Transit Authority launched a new bike patrol unit last month with two officers from G4S Security Solutions. It will grow to a six-person team by the first week of June.
"They are flexible. They can get in and out of places cars can't get into,” CATS general manager of Safety and Security Levern McElveen said.
"If I were a criminal, I certainly wouldn't try to outrun a bicycle," said one Lynx rider.
CATS said the team is already proving effective. Two weeks ago the officers responded to an argument at the Newbern light rail station when one of the men they confronted ran off.
"The one officer pursued individual the other officer stayed back and collected data. What he found out from the eyewitness is that person had just seen this individual on Crime Stoppers the night before,” McElveen said.
McElveen said the officer managed to stop the man and confirmed there were warrants on him from an armed robbery at a CVS on Poplar Tent Road in Concord.
The new bike unit comes at no extra costs to taxpayers since CATS is using officers that are already a part of its contract with G4S.
G4S also provided two bikes. CMPD donated the other four.
All of the bike patrol officers have received week-long training provided by CMPD.