With an eye on reducing crime in the city’s park and ride lots, Calgary Transit rolled out a new mountain bike peace officer patrol team yesterday.

The team of eight peace officers and four alternates took a one-week course offered by Calgary police and will now use their police-issued mountain bikes to fight car thefts and crime in transit lots, the Calgary Transit public safety co-ordinator said.

“They will primarily be looking for any criminal activity on transit property and within parking lots. If it’s on property they will be able to arrest the individual and process the charges,” Brian Whitelaw said.

Whitelaw said the team will work with police and can call for help if for instance, an offender flees transit property.

The officers will patrol days and early evenings and focus on the bigger lots with the higher crime statistics, he added.

Mountain bike team member Doug Bailey said he has been patrolling by bike for two weeks and has received positive public feedback.

“People are coming up and asking questions about who we are and what we do and the response has been good,” Bailey said. “We’re providing people a visible presence.”

Transit rider Scott Sirman said he thinks the new bike team will have a positive impact on crime statistics in and around the lots. “I think it will definitely help with the amount of cars broken into and stolen,” he said.

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