August 3, 2005 – Posted at 3:45 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO, AR -- The Jonesboro Police Department is fighting crime and hitting the streets, on two wheels. Bike patrols have stepped up in downtown areas, and police are cracking down on speeding, loud music and even drug trafficking from behind the handlebars.
“We've got 35 right here. The gold Grand Am is headed your way,” said Jonesboro Police Officer Nate Furr to his partner as he waved a radar gun in traffic.
Furr is part of the JPD's bike patrol that set up shop Wednesday morning on Main Street.
“We catch it on radar or catch the violation and radio it to the units down the street, and they stop the vehicles for that violation and issue citations,” said Furr.
The speed limit on Main Street is 25 miles per hour, and officers are looking for speeders. They are also checking out cars to make sure folks are wearing their seatbelts, children are restrained, and they are also taking a look for expired tags.
Their low-key presence makes it easy, in an hour and a half, they've written 15 tickets.
“The only way you will hear a difference is in tone in the radar when I break it off that vehicle and try to catch another one,” said Furr as the radar hummed.
The bike patrol is out randomly from March to November and rides between 15 and 30 miles a day. Units are placed all over the city.
“The heat can get to you, riding the bikes isn't too bad, but the heat can get to you,” said Bike Patrol Officer Adam Hampton.
“There are a multitude of duties we can do with bike patrol,” said Furr, “You drive around for eight hours a day in a big white car with reflective tape all over it. People get so accustomed to that's how police are.”
It's that mindset that gives these cops the advantage.
“I rolled up on somebody who was literally stuffing their crack pipe full of cocaine. At that point, I was just right on top of them before they ever figured out that I was a police officer,” laughed Furr.
All shifts ride, and while it's a more exposed job, back up is never too far away.