Hays Police Chief Don Scheibler sat down with Hays Post to discuss the on-street bike lanes that will soon be added to various roads in town. He said that while officers will be enforcing traffic laws and monitoring the roads, the department won’t really be doing anything differently.
“Our mission won’t change: we’ll still have to cover the entire city so you’ll still see officers out there in patrol cars and officers on bike patrol. At this time we don’t have any intention to add any additional officers to the bike patrol.”
Currently there are 9 officers trained for bike patrol duty:
Scheibler said that all police officers are patrol officers first, and receive training in different areas such as the response team, drug team or the bike patrol. He explained this to illustrate that if officers were added to the bike patrol in the future, it would not mean additional staff, just an additional role an existing officer could fill if needed.
Scheibler said that the department will also continue their bike-safety program:
The City of Hays has an ordinance requiring all bicycle owners to register their bike with HPD. Scheibler said that every year the department acquires a large number of bicycles with no way to verify who the owner is. The registration ordinance is designed to help with that. The cost of registration is $.50 to cover the cost of the identifying sticker to be placed on the bicycle.
“If you’re going to spend $200 on a bicycle, you should spend an extra 50 cents so if somebody steals your bicycle or you lose it, we can return it to you. It’s not an effort for us to track people, it’s just truly an effort to get bicycles back to the owner.”
He added that while this is an existing ordinance within city limits, in his 20 years in Hays he has never seen a bike owner cited for failing to register his / her bicycle, and the department has no intention to go out of its way to issue such citations.