The UI's Police Bike Unit provides a non-traditional means of police patrol that offers more effective coverage of the campus environment. Officers in the bike unit are better able to patrol campus areas such as walkways, bike paths and recreation areas such as Illini Grove and Illini Meadows.
"The additional presence of the bike officers has done much to enhance the relationships between the residents [of Orchard Downs] and the police," said Anne Parker, assistant director of Housing and director of Family and Graduate Housing. "The residents feel safer and understand that the police are on campus to work with them and for them."
"The bike fosters a positive relation between the public and the police," said Rebecca Lauher, crime prevention coordinator and a member of the bike unit. "It is a more open style of policing that allows the public to come into immediate contact with the officer. The public often feels that the bike officer is more easily approachable than a police officer in a squad car."
Until now, the bike unit has been funded solely by the police department budget, but this year the UI Mothers Association has purchased two new mountain bikes for the bike unit. The donation does not increase the number of bikes in the bike unit which now stands at four but allows the retirement of the two original bikes acquired by the department when the unit was established in 1989.