Abbotsford’s police bike squad have hung up their helmets.
Earlier this month, police chief Mike Serr said members of the squad have been re-assigned, in large part because it was hard to generate consistency because of shortages across the department.
The squad had three members and one sergeant, but it didn’t always operate at full strength. Instead, when other units needed help, they often drew on the cyclists for additional manpower, Serr told council.
“Our bike squad has been a unit, ever since I’ve been here, that has been constantly decimated,” Serr said. “If we had other priorities, it was members from that squad taken out and placed in other locations, which made it very challenging for them to get any synergy or build up tools to employ on the street.”
The three street officers have been redeployed to patrol, while the sergeant is headed to a “hub” team that will focus on issues facing the city’s homeless and at-risk communities.
Serr said the movement helped reduce the number of new officers the police department is seeking to hire this year and the resulting cost to taxpayers. The department has requested to hire two new officers, along with two civilian workers: an investigative assistant and a “court liaison officer.”
Council has yet to approve next year’s budget.
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