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How Fast Can a Bicycle Go?

One evening, when assigned to the night shift, we received a call from a local pizza joint requesting an escort to make their bank deposit. We are a small town and normally provide this service to area business as long as we're not busy on other details, as we usually only have 2 officers on duty of a night. We have the citizen provide their own transportation, with the officer following seperately in a patrol car, in case we get a detail immediately after the escort that the officer has to respond to, but under no circumstances do we leave the escorted person unattended after beginning the service. This prevents a bad guy phoning in a false call to lure the officer away and leaving the citizen vulnerable to a robbery.

This business on this night had a manager making the drop who rode a bicycle to work and the bank was 1.5 miles away. Not wanting to violate policy, the Captain advised him that he would still have to provide his own transportation. The route of the escort passed directly in front of the Police Department.

Not more that 1 minute into the escort, I received a 911 call of a fight at a local bar. I hit the alert tone and dispatched the units to the fight. One unit was on the escort and the other was right in the middle of his little boy's room detail and no one was immediately available to go. The second unit did interrupt his "break" but it was going to take him 2-3 minutes to get his vest, gunbelt and other equipment back on to go. I received a second call about the fight. This one came no more than 20 seconds after the first, but now the whole bar was involved. I advised the shift Captain on the escort of the development. He simply cleared me. I was panicked, I knew the second unit wasn't going to be enroute for another good minute and I had no idea how long it would take a bicyclist to ride 1.5 miles with a bag of money.

Just at the apex of my panic, I saw red flashing lights bouncing off the buildings in front of the Department. The bank and the bar with the problem were just 1 block north of me. As I stood up and looked out the front doors, I saw a man on a bike peddling to beat hell being followed by a marked squad car with lights and siren activated, screaming over the PA to the rider that he would have to peddle faster than that!

I honestly fell in the floor laughing, until I couldn't breath and tears dampeded my uniform shirt. I've never seen anything so funny in my entire life and wouldn't believe the story if I hadn't been involved.


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