Police: Bike patrols make Swansea officers more approachable

SWANSEA, Ill. (AP) — Officers with the Swansea Police Department’s new bike patrol say they’re receiving positive reactions from the southern Illinois community. Sgt. Matt Blomberg is one of eight police officers who volunteered to use donated mountain bikes in an effort to supplement foot and car patrols. He tells the Belleville News-Democrat that bike patrols allow officers to interact with the public “in a totally different light” because they’re “much more approachable on a bike” than they are in a car. Police Chief Steve Johnson agrees, adding that the bike patrols are meant to show Swansea “a different side of professional law enforcement.” He says residents sometimes hug officers while they’re on bike patrol.