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Friends of Independence

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Friends of Independence's
Law Enforcement Bicycle Patrol Fund for Independence National Historical Park 

Friends of Independence is raising money to support the Law Enforcement Bicycle Patrol at Independence National Historical Park.  Law Enforcement bicycles usually need to be replaced within 2-3 years due to the harsh conditions they are subjected to everyday.  Also bicycles do not come in "One Size Fits All," and we need to have various sizes to accommodate all of our LE Rangers here at the park.  If a ranger rides a bike that does not fit them, they can cause serious damage to their bodies.

Our goal is to provide new bicycles every year in various size to accommodate our rangers as well as other safety equipment so that we can help them keep our park safe for visitors and locals alike.

 If you would like to make a donation, please contact the Friends at 215-861-4971

If you would like to know more about the program, please continue reading

History of Bicycle Patrol in the National Park Service

Bicycles have been used by the National Park Service as since the early 1900’s. In 1917, the NPS had 41 bicycles. As the years progressed, the bicycles were put aside and replaced by motorcycles, horses, 2 passenger motor vehicles, as well as foot patrols.

The NPS again started using bicycles on a limited basis in 1973, establishing a Bicycle Patrol Unit that patrolled the cycling trails in the District of Columbia and Virginia. By the mid-70’s, the National Park Service began to replace bicycle patrol with motor scooters. The 1990’s brought “community policing” and the return of the bicycle patrol.

Bicycle Patrol  at Independence National Historical Park

At Independence National Historical Park, the Bicycle Patrol started in the early 2000’s. Currently there are 18 rangers who are trained to be on Bicycle Patrol and they share nine bicycles.

The program was started because Bicycle Patrol is perfect for an urban environment. 

  • They are able to respond faster than a vehicle
  • They can cover more ground during a patrol day than on foot
  • They are more approachable for visitors. 

The Bicycle Patrol is also a crucial law enforcement tool, both tactically and as a
deterrence.  Bicycle Patrol Rangers are a great asset for managing special events.  They are able to respond quickly through crowds and render assistance even faster than if they were on foot or in a vehicle. 

Challenges facing the Bicycle Program

  • Life cycle of the Bicycle - current Law Enforcement bicycles are worn out after 2-3 years of service due to the wear and tear that occurs during their time
  • Custom fit of the bicycles - bicycles are not one size fits all, so the current nine bikes in service do not work with every Ranger.  It can be a safety issue if a ranger tries to ride a bike that is too large or too small.

Help Us Support Our Law Enforcement Rangers