The Fort Worth Police Department began its bicycle patrol on Friday, April 16, 1915, after Police Commissioner Hurdleston ordered 13 bicycles from the Cromer Cycle Company.
According to a Fort Worth Record newspaper article several months later (the bicycle squad) “became a terror to hobos, criminals, arson fiends, etc. In addition, they have guarded the homes of the people of Fort Worth while their occupants have been absent on business or pleasure. These men silently ride over their beats, making no noise, their lights blinded, and many times in the shadows of buildings, ever on the alert to protect property and prevent crime”.
Although the unit was highly effective the Bicycle Squad was disbanded on April 16, 1917, when a new police commissioner took office.
In 1987, officers began riding bicycles to patrol the apartment complexes in the Woodhaven area of East Fort Worth. They rode bicycles borrowed from the auto pound and soon were catching burglars and criminals of every description.
By 1991, the success of the East Division Bike Unit led to the formation of an additional bike unit downtown. That unit still patrols downtown and the surrounding areas to this day.
Officers and Equipment:
The downtown bike unit consists of two sergeants and 18 officers. The bike officers patrol seven days a week in two ten-hour shifts. Their duties downtown are not that different from the bike officers of 1915. They patrol business and residential areas gliding silently down streets and alleys so that they can catch criminals and protect the citizens of Fort Worth.
Currently the unit issues Trek 21 speed mountain bikes. The officers wear a special lighter weight uniform and gun belt which is only slightly different in appearance from the regular patrol officer’s uniform.
For additional information; visit the Fort Worth Police Bike Patrol Citizens Support Group online.