Malvern Police Officer Pat Dougherty has been receiving a lot of double takes lately, as he rides through the borough.
Instead of a cruiser, he's riding on an 18-gear Raleigh police bicycle. People aren't used to seeing that.
The recently reinstated its bike program, which was discontinued a few years ago, according to Chief Mark Ercole. The department has two bikes—equipped with headlights, speedometers and other accessories—and two officers certified to ride them, so far.
The reinstatement of bike patrols marks one of the first visible changes made to the department since in June.
"This borough is set up perfectly for it ... it's relatively flat," Dougherty said. "You can get anywhere in the borough in a couple minutes and not really get too exhausted."
He took the bicycle out for its inaugural ride last weekend, during a community yard sale in Burke Park.
"I've been doing a lot of waving to people. It was a quiet weekend," Dougherty said.
He predicts the bikes will offer a real advantage during festivals and other large community events when streets are blocked off.
"For example, at the bike race, I had to get to this side for an ambulance call, and I was on the other side. You're weaving around through traffic, going through the detours and everything else," he said. "[With the bike], I could have just gone right through the middle of the bike race, popped out the other side and been there."