GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ – On the afternoon of June 9, a dog attacked another dog and bit her owner at the Timber Creek Dog Park. Lady, a Jack Russell, ran from the play area and was missing overnight, according to the Gloucester Township Police Department.
Lady was found the following morning by bike patrol officers who went through the park, police said. They were able to reunite Lady with her owner.
The bike patrol is part of the police department’s Special Police Program, which was given options beyond marked police cars back in 2010, according to police.
The new options at that point included a golf cart and a Segway, enabling police to expand their presence into the township’s various communities and parks, police said.
And recently, police began allowing their Special Law Enforcement Officers (SLEOs) patrolling these parks to use bicycles whenever possible, including the newly acquired GeoOrbital bicycle, police said.
GeoOrbital, is a Massachusetts-based manufacturer that has developed a patented electric wheel technology. Each GeoOrbital wheel, developed by engineers from SpaceX and Ford, contains a motor, Li-ion battery, and computer controller inside. The wheel was specifically built for police, fire, and EMS patrol bicycles.
GeoOrbital made initial headlines on TV’s “Shark Tank.” It then had a very successful Kickstarter campaign raising over $1 million in a few weeks on the crowdfunding site back in 2016.
“Adding power to patrol bikes improves officer safety by ensuring that officers arrive at a call fresh and not winded while providing a faster response time and expanding patrol zones,” police said. “The GTPD was impressed with the product and added another police bicycle that is outfitted with the GeoOrbital wheel for use and testing by our full time, patrol bicycle officers.”
The Gloucester Township Police Department was selected to receive a brand-new police bicycle equipped with a 29″ electric GeoOrbital wheel during the fourth annual New Jersey Law Enforcement Against Drugs (LEAD) conference and summit in March, police said.
The donation was made on behalf of benefactor Preferred Freezer Inc. and CEO John J. Galiher in conjunction with L.E.A.D. and GeoOrbital Inc. LEAD, a non-profit committed to protecting youth and communities from the proliferation of drugs, drug related crimes, peer to peer/cyber bullying and violence, partnered with GeoOrbital in deploying 10 wheels across New Jersey.
SLEOs will also be wearing a clearly visible “Hi Viz” police uniforms, equipped with information cards about township events, when operating the “park themed” police marked units. They will be ready to engage with patrons at the township’s parks, police said.
They will be in a position to help find dogs when they go missing in parks in ways other patrol vehicles couldn’t, such as in the case of Lady.
After Lady went running off, several officers and park patrons initially searched for her, but were unable to find her. A Park Patrol SLEO was stationed at the park and found her the following morning, leading to the happy reunion.