3700 N. 75th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Sergeant Ben Hoster
Bike Unit and Liquor Investigation Detail Supervisor
The Scottsdale Police Bike Unit is a special assignment team comprised of six IPMBA certified Bike Officers, one Liquor Detective, and one Police Sergeant. Our MISSION is to act for District Commanders as a rapid response team in solving community based problems. Bike Unit Officers are tasked with identifying, creating, and implementing many challenging enforcement operations.
The Scottsdale Police Bike Unit has a rich history. It began in 1991 with Officer Nigel Sherriff. His first bicycle was donated by the 5th Avenue Merchants Association. Officer Sherriff primarily patrolled the area around 5th Avenue and the downtown area. In 1996 a Trek-Y full suspension bicycle frame was impounded. The frame went unclaimed and eventually was released to the Bike Unit. It was painted by a local auto body shop and turned into a D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) bike. All mechanical work on the bike was done by Scottsdale Bike Officers. The D.A.R.E. Bike traveled with the Bike Unit to many different events for educational purposes. The Bike Unit has since expanded into many other areas. We are now responsible for city-wide liquor enforcement, conducting plain clothes surveillance, attending and hosting special events, and assisting other units within the department.
Three of the Bike Unit Officers are certified as instructors through the International Police Mountain Bike Association, also known as IPMBA. These bike instructors oversee the Department-wide “Bike Officer Reserve Program.” Patrol officers in each of the four districts are encouraged to complete a 40 hour IPMBA school for certification. On an annual basis the Bike Unit hosts an IPMBA school, frequently including officers from other agencies.
All members of the Bike Unit also attend and run Bike Rodeos at schools, scouting meetings, neighborhood block watches, and many other locations and events. For the Bike Rodeos Bike Officers set up fun bicycle obstacle courses using orange traffic cones, brightly colored caricature signs and little wooden bridges. Bike Officers remind children how to start riding from a stop sign, how to use their handbrakes and footbrakes, and the importance of wearing a helmet. During the Bike Rodeos, children are encouraged to bring their bicycles and helmets so officers can ensure proper fit of both.
The Bike Unit also plays a significant role during many of Scottsdale’s Signature Events. The ability for an Officer on a bicycle to easily maneuver through large groups of people quickly makes them ideal for big events. The Bike Unit annually works the Phoenix Open Golf Tournament enforcing liquor laws and ensuring the safety of spectators. Officers in the unit also patrol the Scottsdale Stadium during spring training baseball games, multiple sporting events throughout the city including but not limited to the Tour De Scottsdale, Mighty Mud Mania, and the annual Special Olympics Torch Run. In addition, the Bike Unit works closely with other agencies assisting with events like the Chandler Ostrich Festival.
The Scottsdale Police Bike Unit has many plans for the future. We have developed close working relationships with state agencies such as the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control (ADLLC) and the Arizona Department of Public Safety Gang Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission (GIITEM).
We are continuing with our bike registration program. The bicycle registration program is designed to put unique identifiers from citizen’s bicycles into a database to identify and recover stolen bicycles. The Scottsdale Police Bike Unit looks forward to many community education and enforcement opportunities in the future.
Additional Resources for Bicyclists