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Bedford officers tested under pressure while training for bike patrol

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(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

BEDFORD (WSLS 10) - When responding to a call, police officers must be able to make split-second decisions, such as using a gun regardless of fatigue. That's the goal for some Bedford Police officers now training to become certified bike patrols.

The moment an officer is called for an emergency the countdown for help begins. Officer Ryan Hartman rides about a quarter of a mile to respond to the call.

"Just to get there as quick as I could and still have something left in the tank to be able to be beneficial to help that officer," said Hartman.

WSLS 10 was able to connect a camera to the Hartman's helmet, the video shows him riding during his bike training. He's timed on how long it will take him to go through the course. This is part of a week-long training, testing mental and physical strength.

"We make it hard on them. We put them right down at the bottom of the hill where they start having to go uphill and ride them through loose gravel as hard as they can," said Lt. Shannon Walker with Bedford police, who is the istructor.

Towards the end, Hartman gets off his bike, runs, then pulls out his gun and shoots seven targets, finishing the course in under three minutes. Hartman said his goal is to stay focused and breathe.

"No matter how bad you're hurting, it's your brother, it's your sister. Or a citizen in this town that you just want to protect. You just have to put your issues inside and focus on your job and maintaining composure," said Hartman.

Keith Peterson a Marine, joined the Bedford Police Department in November. He came in first place during the course at 2:40 seconds. He said the bike patrol makes it easier to interact with the community.

"We also have very large events, such the Christmas day parade. And you could just do things on a bike that you can't do in a car," said Peterson.

Officers have to go through 32 hours of mandatory training and a 20-mile bike ride. Thirteen of the 24 Bedford police officers are trained with the bike patrol.

The officers use Trek Bikes, fitted with cameras, blue lights and a bag on the back to carry their equipment.