The Billings Police Department started its bike patrol program in the spring of 1994. The Downtown Business Association was instrumental in getting the program started by purchasing bicycles, equipment, uniforms and getting Paul Grady, the founder of the Law Enforcement Bicycle Association (LEBA) here to instruct our first officers.
Since that time, the BPD has hosted countless LEBA bike schools by utilizing their own LEBA instructors. Through this effort, agencies from around Montana and surrounding states can send their officers to become bike certified.
Bike Patrol Certification
Each BPD officer who is accepted into the bike program has successfully passed a structured interview process as well as demonstrated a high level of physical fitness through bi-annual physical fitness exams. Once accepted into the LEBA School, the officer must pass a rigorous 4 day school consisting of classroom, technical riding and 10-15 mile rides to end each day. On the last day, the officer must ride several miles to the gun range where the officer will train several hours on the gun range shooting from several positions on and off the bike and passing a shooting qualification. The officers will then ride back to the BPD’s training facility where they must pass the written exam.
Once an officer is qualified through LEBA, he/she will have to continue to pass the BPD annual physical fitness exams and log in a minimum of 6 hours per year on a bike.
Our bicycle officers primarily patrol the downtown business district and nearby city parks. As city bike trails continue to expand, our officers can be seen further from the downtown area to include the west end and heights trails.
Downtown Resource Bike Officers
Currently, the Billings Police Department has two full time downtown Resource Bike Officers who work in coordination with the Downtown Business Association (DBA). The program was introduced in 2008 and our first full time officer began working downtown on a bike in January of 2009. The officer was so well received that the DBA and local businesses pushed to even further expand the program by paying for a second bike officer and outfitted them with a patrol car. The DBA Resource Officers supplement the Billings Police Department by working directly with business owners and the public to ensure a private-public partnership that downtown safety is a priority.