The Fargo Police Bicycle Patrol Unit is one of many tools used for crime prevention, enforcement and public relations. Bicycles are routinely used by officers to reduce problems with panhandling, disorderly persons and situations, traffic enforcement, theft and burglary and many other situations. The Bicycle Patrol Unit operates city-wide, but is especially effective in the downtown area, apartment complexes, city parks and pathways.
The Bicycle Patrol Unit was established in 1991 with six officers and three bicycles. Approximately 71 Fargo officers are now trained and equipped to utilize patrol bicycles in the course of their assignments. The current bicycle fleet consists of 21 mountain bicycles of various brands, including Trek, Specialized, Raleigh, and I Force equiped with lights and sirens.
Patrolling by bicycle gives officers many advantages over the traditional squad car. Bicycle officers can utilize their hearing and sense of smell better, and can approach situations and suspects quietly and unexpectedly. Patrolling by bicycle also removes the "barrier" of the squad car and encourages interaction with citizens by making officers more approachable.