Bicycle Patrol; Capitol

Appropriates funds to the department of public safety to
establish a bicycle patrol for the capitol district.

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           697
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The purpose of this Act is to establish a
 2 bicycle patrol program within the state department of public
 3 safety for the downtown capitol district.  While bicycles have
 4 been used by officers for a number of years, bike patrols
 5 experienced a recent resurgence in 1987, when the Seattle Police
 6 Department began using bicycles to patrol congested downtown
 7 areas.  The legislature finds that this relatively new trend in
 8 law enforcement is especially appropriate to address crime in the
 9 congested capitol district in Honolulu.
10      In particular, the legislature finds that a bicycle patrol
11 program offers a number of benefits to the community, including
12 the following:
13      (1)  During this time of streamlining government and
14           implementing cost-cutting measures, it makes sense to
15           have an economical and environmentally safe bike patrol
16           program for the capitol district, which is the primary
17           patrol for protective services of the department of
18           public safety.  The bike patrol is not intended to take
19           the place of patrol cars but to be used as an

Page 2                                                     
                                     S.B. NO.           697

 1           alternative cost-saving measure to patrol the capitol
 2           district;
 3      (2)  Bicycle patrols are cost effective.  Several bike
 4           officers can be fully outfitted for the cost of one
 5           patrol car.  The average expense to fully equip one
 6           bicycle is about $1,500, with an annual maintenance fee
 7           of about $200.  In contrast, each of the four patrol
 8           cars for the capitol district costs the State
 9           approximately $18,000 to purchase and annual fuel and
10           maintenance fees of approximately $2,600.  After five
11           years, the cars undergo major repairs;
12      (3)  Patrolling the capitol district, which encompasses only
13           .38 square miles, can be simply achieved through the
14           bike patrol, as bike officers can travel faster than
15           foot officers, and are able to patrol areas unreachable
16           by car.  A bicycle increases an officer's mobility in
17           crowded, congested areas, thereby cutting response time
18           in emergencies;
19      (4)  Bicycles offer officers a "stealth" advantage.  Because
20           they are silent, bicycles allow officers to quickly
21           ride up to a crime scene before they are noticed,
22           thereby curtailing burglaries, thefts from vehicles,
23           and other criminal activities;

Page 3                                                     
                                     S.B. NO.           697

 1      (5)  Bicycles are a significant public relations tool, since
 2           officers on bicycles are more approachable than those
 3           in patrol cars.  Bicycle patrols have already greatly
 4           increased the visibility of officers in various areas
 5           of Oahu, enabling officers to develop closer working
 6           relationships with the public and communities; and
 7      (6)  Officers on bicycles benefit from decreased health care
 8           costs and improved morale.
 9      Specialized bicycle training is also important to teach
10 officers to ride fast and safely, while minimizing liability.
11 Unlike recreational cyclists who can choose a route that is safe
12 and convenient, bike officers must ride where they are needed,
13 including in very heavy downtown Honolulu traffic.  Training
14 assistance could be requested from the Honolulu Police
15 Department, which currently operates a bike patrol unit, to cover
16 bicycle handling skills, night operations, emergency maneuvers,
17 and other relevant information.
18      The legislature further finds that there is a growing need
19 to maintain and improve safety for legislators, staff, and
20 agencies located in the capitol district, especially during the
21 legislative session, which can be achieved more cost-effectively
22 through bicycle patrols.  Finally, since the capitol district is
23 one of Honolulu's major visitor areas, increasing the security

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                                     S.B. NO.           697

 1 presence through bicycle patrols will further help to maintain
 2 the State's image as a safe and visitor-friendly tourist
 3 destination.
 4      SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general
 5 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $10,000, or so much
 6 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000, for the
 7 establishment of a bicycle patrol program within the department
 8 of public safety for the capitol district, including the purchase
 9 and outfitting of five bicycles, related equipment, officers'
10 uniforms, and appropriate training.
11      As used in this Act, "capitol district" has the same meaning
12 as the "Hawaii capital special district" as established in
13 section 21-7.30, Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, whose boundaries
14 are delineated in section 21-7.30-2 and Exhibit 21-7.1, Revised
15 Ordinances of Honolulu.
16      SECTION 3.  The sum appropriated shall be expended by the
17 department of public safety for the purposes of this Act.
18      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999.
20                              INTRODUCED BY:______________________