Monday, June 22, 2009

Introduction: Bike Cops for Kids

Mark Klukow and Mike Kirchen are Minneapolis Police Officers working on bike patrol in north Minneapolis. This blog will detail their events and activities throughout the summer of 2009 with select photos and videos taken while they patrol. What is interesting about this summer is the opportunity these officers have to connect with kids in their community and strengthen the relationships the citizens have with their police department.

The Ciresi Foundation has donated the funds for 400 bike helmets, bike supplies, and 30 brand new bikes to allow these officers the chance to make the summer memorable for hundreds of kids. The plan is to conduct "spontaneous" bike rodeos throughout the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) with kids in their neighborhoods. The NAZ borders are West Broadway on the south, 36th Av N on the north, and from Penn on the west to the Mississippi River on the east. During these rodeos, the kids will learn bike safety, simple maintenance tips, and spend some quality time with a trusted adult who happen to be police officers. They get a free helmet for participating and the helmets have "Bike Cops for Kids" stickers on them.

Here's the best part. If the officers find any of these kids wearing the stickered helmets later in the summer, they could win a brand new Trek Bike! A safety ceremony will take place at their home and the child will also receive a new bike lock.

The PEACE Foundation, Bell Bike Supplies, North Memorial Medical Center and Penn Cycle all are contributing to this endeavor and Officers Klukow and Kirchen are thankful for the faith and vision they all share for north Minneapolis youth. The Minneapolis Police Department Juvenile Unit is a supporter of this endeavor with their core belief being that prevention works when it comes to juvenile justice and crime reduction.

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