Riding along with a police officer isn’t just something that school aged children do, it is an important part of a public servant’s learning process. Understanding the challenges, dangers, and responsibilities that face public safety employees every day at work is important. And remembering that police don’t only serve in cars is yet another reminder of how varied their jobs can be.

Chico city manager Dave Burkland rediscovered that lesson during Halloween, when he rode along with the Chico Police Bike Patrol. Saddled up on his own bike, Burkland rode through the city and its neighborhoods for five and a half hours on Halloween, experiencing the job of the city’s most mobile unit.

Despite being on bikes, these officers often are the first responders and can be responsible for breaking up large parties, fights, making arrests, and calling for backup. Burkland, who did his best to stay with the officers, decided in certain situations he should hang back to make sure he didn’t impede the officers’ duties. As the night wore on, the violence and disturbances piled up, and so did the arrests.

The only question is, when will Burkland ride with the Mounted units?

From the Chico Enterprise Record:

City Manager Dave Burkland often does ride-alongs with Chico police so he can better appreciate what they do, but he took the concept to a new level last Saturday night when he joined them on bicycle patrol.

It was the height of Chico’s four-day Halloween celebration, and Burkland, along with officers Jim Dimmitt, David Bailey and Tony Ferreira, hit the streets about 10 p.m.

Riding a ’70s-style Peugeot racing bike his son had customized for him, Burkland said his main concern was keeping up with the officers, all several years younger.

Read the full article here.