Bikes Are New East Hampton Town Police Asset

East Hampton Town Police Sgt. Dan Roman with one of two state-of-the-art patrol bicycles, now part of the department’s fleet T.E. McMorrow

In an era when police fight crime with high-tech gadgetry — Tasers and license plate readers in patrol cars — a much lower-tech instrument now helps East Hampton Town police handle crowds at special events as well as in downtown Montauk during the summer season: the bicycle.

Two new bikes were deployed during the Montauk St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday for the second year. 

According to Chief Michael D. Sarlo, it was a department dispatcher, Dave Collins, whose expertise in the mechanics of bicycles led the chief to select a company in Washington State, Volcanic, as the manufacturer of the newest bikes in the fleet. Mr. Collins trained at the Barnett Bicycle Institute in Colorado Springs.

Volcanic sells its bikes exclusively to police across the country. Made in America, they are rugged, able to hop sidewalks and stairs, and to be used in mud or sand, while also being able to move quickly from one location to another. 

Volcanic’s bikes have disk brakes, meaning they do not squeal when braking. A squeaky brake would dash the element of stealth, the chief noted, which is one of the bike patrol’s main assets, particularly in downtown Montauk at night during the summer season.

They also are equipped with 29-inch tires, which are wide, and the front shocks can lock to increase speed. 

  The East Hampton Town department now has eight officers certified for bike patrol, Chief Sarlo said, after they took a course at the Suffolk County Police Academy. 

Officers are trained to dismount quickly in emergency situations, and the bikes can take a good amount of abuse when that happens, Mr. Collins said. Unlike other bikes, many of the key parts are of solid metal, instead of metal tubing. 

According to Mr. Collins, the bikes, which come with a lifetime warranty, should have a life span of at least 15 years. He estimated the cost of each