WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – If you live around Oaklawn, or even near Sedgwick County Park, you may have seen sheriff’s deputies patrolling the area on bicycles. Four deputies have been assigned to patrol the area, weather permitting.
Deputy Kyle Mathias is no stranger to bikes.
“I fell in love with BMX racing when I was 10,” said Mathias. “We’re trying right now to ride at least once a week.”
But, Mathias says sometimes the weather gets in the way of their two-wheel patrol.
“With the rain and the lightning and the thunderstorms and things of that nature, it’s not very fun to ride your bicycle in those kinds of weather.”
One of the good things about patrolling on bicycles, says Mathias, is being able to do a better job of interacting with citizens.
“You’re more approachable, people are willing to stop and talk to you, more willing than if you were sitting inside your car.”
Mathias also says some people are happy to see the deputies on bikes.
“It’s something new for them, it’s a new concept for Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.”
Ashley Gronewaller, who was visiting Oaklawn, likes seeing the lawmen on bicycles.
“I think it’s wonderful, I think it’s great to have people out keeping an eye on our kiddos and our neighborhood and making sure everything is safe and happy.” Gronewaller said.
As you’d expect, Deputy Mathias agrees.
“I think that they’re a great asset to the department, it really helps with locating individuals, seeing things you can see from the car,” said Mathias.
There are four deputies who are assigned to the bicycle patrol. Each of them trained last year with the Wichita Police Department.
The sheriff’s office says some areas are easier to get to on they hope to keep the bike patrols around Oaklawn, the Sedgwick County Park and the zoo going through the summer.