In early 1991, Officers Jack Michaud and Tom Lavigne were approached by the owners of a local bicycle shop. They had read an article about bicycles that were donated to an area Police Department.
The shop owners were willing to donate two Specialized Rock Hopper mountain bikes to the Bristol Police Department. Fully equipped, these bicycles were valued at approximately $1,000 apiece. A proposal was prepared for Acting Chief Daniel Ahearn. He was receptive to the idea and forwarded the proposal to the Police Board.
With the concept of community policing, the idea was well received. Shortly after, the plan was instituted. Police began patrolling the city on bicycles.
With an emphasis on comfort and practicality, police researched the uniforms of other established bicycle patrols in Connecticut. The uniform includes protective headgear, blue and yellow cotton blended shorts and shirt. A silk screened police badge replica is on the front, with large police lettering on the back. Long pants are worn on cooler days.
Each officer is equipped with a nylon duty belt with nylon utility pouches. This gear is more practical to clean when soiled. The bike has driving lights for nighttime use that is powered by a rechargeable battery. On the back of the bike is a battery-powered high intensity flashing tail light. This light can be seen up to a half-mile away. A bag attached to the rear of the bike enables officers to carry forms, tickets, and first aid equipment.