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Connects Against Crime: Marion Bike Patrol

MARION, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- No flashing lights - Just a helmet, handlebars and your own two legs.

“There's a few times that we can get there quicker than the cars, not too often but it does happen,” said Corporal Jim Teahen with the Marion Police Department.

Teahen enforces the law in the city of Marion from his bicycle.

“Wild horses will not stop me from coming out here on bike patrol,” Teahen said.

The department has had the patrol for more than a decade now, and it has paid off.

“Their opportunities are just the same as those in a squad car, they're just operating on a bicycle,” Sgt. Lance Miller said.

You shouldn’t let the two wheels fool you.

“If these officers are in the area, a lot of times these officers will take normal calls for service,” Miller said.

Teahen has experienced it first-hand.

“We've had our cases where we have arrested drunk drivers.”

Although the bikes lack the bells and whistles of the much larger patrol cars, officers say they offer a very distinct advantage - community outreach.

“It's good for the officer to be able to hear and see the public, but it's also good for the public to communicate and approach the officer,” Miller said.

“It's kind of an ice breaker, it makes us a little more approachable,” Teahen said.

It proves that not every officer needs four wheels to get the job done.

“We get out and about…it's a very worthwhile program,” Teahen said.

The department just added three more bike patrol officers -- for a total of 6. Meanwhile, Corporal Teahen is set to retire from the department after 39 years in law enforcement and 12 on bike patrol.
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