RNC officers will exchange four wheels for two - FOX 13 News

RNC officers will exchange four wheels for two

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

This is one of those instances where two wheels are better than four. 

Erik Kirland owns Native Bikeworks in Riverview, and he said he has "designed these bikes specifically for what they needed during this RNC convention."

During the week of the Republican National Convention - many Bay area officers will be parking the police cruisers and pickup pedaling on patrol. 

"The bicycles will allow us to respond rapidly to situations," Major Brian Dugan with Tampa Police said.

This isn't a first.

During the last Republican convention in Minnesota, a team of 110 bike officers were on duty at all times. The bikes allow officers to better deal with angry crowds and weave through riots if needed.

"They're going to be the ambassadors to the city," Dugan said. "Quite often, the bike cops will be the first ones that people will be in contact with. You won't have that barrier of a police car."

The new cop carriers are also another example of the RNC bringing in big bucks to our area.

"The officers fell in love with the bikes right away as they got a chance to ride them," Kirkland said.

Native Bikeworks in Rivewview was chosen to provide the 200 bikes as part of a more than $300,000 contract.

"This is something that was kind of like an answered prayer," Kirkland said. "In these times with the economy, it's very hard to run a business."

Right now, officers from several Florida agencies are going through some intense training to prep for next month's convention.

The experience will be used for years to come.

"Each bike is sized to an officer and will be for the remainder of their career," Kirkland said.

Each bike will be fitted with LED red and blue flashing lights. And whether two wheels or four, you'll still be required to pull over.

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