The Wakefield Police Department began using uniformed officers on police-designed mountain bikes as a patrol strategy in 1993. Wakefield is well suited to this method of police intervention. Lake Quannapowitt provides a year round recreational space to walkers, joggers, sailboaters, wind and ice surfers and fishermen.
The mountain bike unit was formed to provide a uniformed police presence in off road areas, parks and trails around the lake as well as in the adjacent commercial downtown business district. The bike unit is staffed by volunteer officers:
Officers on bike patrol are uniquely qualified to set a community policing example for the hundreds of residents and visitors to the Lake Quannapowitt and downtown Wakefield areas.
The bike officers are highly visible and approachable by both adults and children. Their mission is education as well as enforcement. The safety laws particular to wearing of children's bicycle helmets and pedestrian safety concerns when vehicles are joined with rollerbladers are dealt with in an open community policing style by bike officers.
These officers have been equally effective in reducing criminal activity targeted at persons in a recreational setting.