The Grand Prairie Police Department’s newest unit is taking a bite out of major crime – one neighborhood at a time.
The bike patrol was created in April. In the time since, the five-member team has been averaging dozens of arrests per month.
Sergeant Tracy Hinson oversees it. He took on the job as an 18-year veteran.
The latest news from around North Texas.
“We're able to sneak up on a lot of stuff that a police car cannot,” said Sgt. Hinson with Grand Prairie Police.
He says his guys are riding high on success.
“We've averaged about 40 arrests a month just off the bikes. We pretty much have gotten into a little bit of everything,” Sgt. Hinson said.
From stopping the peddling of cocaine and meth, to weapons, cloned credit cards and counterfeit money.
A recent bust involved marijuana, a gun and a convicted felon. Another – a half a pound of weed, Hinson said was sitting in a suspect's lap.
“We've taken probably a dozen guns off the streets just in the short few months that we've been doing this,” he said.
The team works odd shifts, often at night.
The officers split up and pick different neighborhoods, sometimes targeting the ones with a spike in break-ins.
While they’re working to deter crime, they want people to know that they're not just looking for trouble.
“We usually carry badge stickers for the kids. We're not there for bad things a lot of the times, we're there to interact with the public,” Sgt. Hinson said.
When they’re not patrolling neighborhoods, they work large crowd events. You might see them riding around the outlet mall, the lake, or soon, the new Ikea. The group also works with the boys and girls club and teaches bike safety to local students.
The hope is for Grand Prairie's bike unit to possibly double in size. The plan is to add two officers by the first of the year.