Island police officers receive mountain bike training


Fourteen police officers from various departments on Martha’s Vineyard are receiving a three-day training to properly ride a mountain bicycle. The training is being conducted on the Edgartown Police Department’s grounds by Sgt. Jeffrey Watson of the Medway Police Department. 

Watson has been training police officers to ride mountain bikes since 1995. He also teaches for the Municipal Police Training Committee. Watson used the experience he accumulated to form his own business in 2009, Police Mountain Bike Training, through which he provides training to police officers all over Massachusetts. 

Watson said the training teaches officers how to conduct themselves on mountain bikes and how to handle one. The first two days of training teach the officers how to control the bicycles in a safe manner, such as riding around curves and down stairs. The final day trains officers on different scenarios, such as defense and crowd control. 

“The bicycle is a phenomenal community policing tool. It gets our officers out of the cruiser and to interact with the community more,” said Watson. “We do see that an officer on a bicycle is far more approachable than an officer in a car.”

Watson said bicycles provide benefits to the officers. Bicycles allow for increased mobility for officers, especially during the tourist season, are great for the officers’ health, and local businesses enjoy seeing the officers patrolling on their bicycles. Watson hopes this can be an annual training, since otherwise officers would need to go off-Island to receive it. He said while many of the officers were already great bicycle riders, there is a difference between a regular person riding compared with how a police officer needs to ride a bicycle. Police officers on bicycles need to ride on different types of terrain, alongside being able to respond to various situations. 


  1. Wouldn’t it be more helpful to society if police were provided training on Constitutional law first, before mountain bikes?
    Police are not coping well with the cruisers we provide them, it is not going to get better with bicycles.

    • James– Stay on point please.
      Constitutional law and riding a bicycle have nothing in common.
      To be sure, you and I have differing opinions on what is “constitutional” on a number of issues.
      Who would you have “train” the police about constitutional law ?
      And to what purpose ?
      Do you think if trump ever set foot on this island one of our “trained” police officers should arrest him because he repeatedly violated the emollients clause of the constitution ?

  2. I think it’s great idea.
    It’s one of those things that the police departments seem to be ahead of.
    Money well spent.

  3. Well, we have all seen trained circus bears, small rodents, and other creatures riding bicycles… why not the police! Perhaps we could also give them specialized training on surf boards, skate boards, and jet skis to keep them entertained and away from the public to protect our freedom.

  4. Anthony– perhaps if you ever get on a bicycle, you might realize that it is not simply a matter of pushing the pedals. Especially if you are chasing someone who is on foot and cutting through yards, or going down a flight of stairs.
    I don’t know what your definition of “freedom” is, but I am guessing that you think people should have the freedom to beat police officers if they believe some wild conspiracy theory.

    I guess if you can understand the freedom of “patriots” to smash windows and doors to get into the capitol building to loot it, you will understand when all the so called antifa and BLM “extremist” shout about their freedom while looting your business.

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