Aiken bicycle shop donates $5,000 electric bike to North Augusta Public Safety – The Augusta Chronicle
North Augusta Public Safety has a new set of wheels.
Pedego Electric Bikes in Aiken presented one of its Ridge Rider electric mountain bikes to the department as a donation on Monday during a North Augusta City Council meeting.
The bike can go up to 20 mph and store owner Coker Day said it can run 56 miles with pedal assist. The battery takes two-to-three hours to fully charge. Valued at $4,495, the police bikes, also known as ‘The Patrollers,’ also have been given special upgrades like sirens and red and blue lights valued at around $500.
Day said they have donated bikes to City of Aiken Public Safety and the Department of Natural Resources and have gotten positive feedback.
“What they’ve told me is, when they’re out there, they can hear things and see things and smell things that you don’t see when you’re in your patrol car,” Day said. “Also, it gives you the chance to be more one-on-one with the community versus being in a car and having a wall around you. There’s a lot more personal interactions.”
North Augusta Public Safety Chief John Thomas said many of the officers are fighting over who gets to take it out for a spin, but training will delay its debut for about one month.
“I’d like to see it at some of our special events,” Thomas said. “One good example is Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee, would be a great place to have somebody to ride, and it’s just a presence for us. It’s a deterrent for a lot of things in some of these neighborhoods and around SRP baseball stadium.”
While it’s an expensive bike, the chief said, if it’s accessible and does good things for the department, they could potentially budget for more of them.