Most US bike-cops have training in bike control and pursuit to give confidence for the descent of steep slopes under freeway bridges, and prevent the embarrassment of falling off at the feet of an offender in a bungled dismount. The International Police Mountain Bike Association provides a clearing house for such training courses. Membership extends to police forces in Russia and Australia.
The first of the new bike-cops started in 1987 in Seattle, and achieved twice the arrest rate with three bikes that the nine foot patrols on the same unit were managing, and equalling the whole precinct's car-based officers. In Salt Lake City the ability to cover an area 20 times a night, against the one or two foot patrols, delivered an 80 per cent reduction in car break-ins. Santa Barbara's epidemic of purse-snatching and parking- lot thefts evaporated when a silent, swift bike-cop replaced the coffee- swilling, doughnut-chewing corpulent cop in a car.