OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Bicycle Patrol Unit of the Allentown Police Department recently received a generous donation of three brand new, top-of-the-line bicycles from the Lehigh Valley Electricians Local 375, members of the Lehigh Valley Building and Construction Trades Council.  The bikes, worth $4,500,were presented during a news conference in City Council Chambers inside Allentown City Hall.  Each completely outfitted bike costs approximately $1,500 and feature 29 speeds.

“We’ve heard so many good things about the bicycle cops downtown before and after events at the PPL Arena” said Dave Reichard, President of Lehigh Valley Electricians Local 375, which is based in Allentown.  “People feel safe with them there.  We are so grateful that we can do this for the Police Department and the City of Allentown.  Our members benefited from the jobs that were created by all of the construction downtown, so it is our way of giving something back to the City.”

Mayor Pawlowski said, “The IBEW has been a great community partner. The city gratefully accepts the donation to help the department increase public safety.”

The money for the bikes came through the membership dues for those who work in the union.  This is one of the many community service projects that members of the Lehigh Valley Building Trades perform throughout the year across the entire Lehigh Valley region.

Paul Anthony Jr., Business Manager for Local 375, stated that this supports the partnership between the business community and the Police Department.  “The Bike Patrol officers were always around during construction of the arena, and they have changed the perception that downtown Allentown in now safe again for visitors.  We’re happy to give back and support these officers.  They do a tremendous job, and we appreciate what they do, especially on cold days like today.”

According to Assistant Police Chief Mike Morris, the city has approximately 40 officers who are certified by the International Police Mountain Bike Association.  He said 17 bicycles have been donated to the city over the last 12 months.  He also stated that the bikes allow officers to get into places that patrol cars can’t and they make officers more accessible to the people in the community.

“These bikes are designed to take a beating,” said Bike Officer Scott Magill.  “The Tires are made for an urban environment and the disc brakes are designed for all weather.”

The new Trek model bikes will be put into service immediately.