North Augusta Public Safety has a new set of wheels.
Pedego Electric Bikes in Aiken presented one of their Ridge Rider electric mountain bikes to the department as a donation Monday at a North Augusta city council meeting.
The bike can go up to 20 mph and store owner Coker Day said it can go 56 miles with pedal assistance. The battery takes two to three hours to fully charge. It is initially valued at $ 4,495, but the police bikes, also known as “The Patrollers,” received special upgrades such as sirens and red and blue lights valued at around $ 500.
Day said he donated bicycles to Aiken Town Public Security and the Ministry of Natural Resources and received positive feedback.
“What they told me is that when they are there they can hear things and see things and smell things that you don’t see when you are in your patrol car.” Day said. “Plus, it gives you the chance to be more one-on-one with the community rather than being in a car and having a wall around you. There are a lot more personal interactions. “
North Augusta Public Safety Chief John Thomas said many officers were arguing over who could run it, but the training will delay its debut by about a month.
“I would love to see it at some of our special events,” Thomas said. “A good example is Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee, that would be a great place to have someone ride, and it’s just a presence for us. It’s a deterrent for a lot of things in some of these. neighborhoods and around the SRP baseball stadium. “
Pictures:Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee (10.26.19)
While it’s an expensive bike, the chief said, if it’s accessible and does the right thing for the department, they could potentially budget more for these bikes.