Fort Lee, Va. (June 26, 2008) -- Some community residents may think with the increase of bike patrols in the neighborhoods that the Fort Lee Police are doing their part to save gas and decrease global warming.

While this may be true, the real reason for more than 40 bike police riding the streets on two-wheels is a new initiative aimed at bringing the community and the police closer.

"The new bike patrol has one mission and that is to work with the community to solve problems," said Maj. Joe Metzger, chief of police. "They are not isolated in cars, but out working and playing in the communities."

The most noticeable change will be that the new bike police are sporting gray and black uniforms, while their counterparts still wear yellow and black.

Though they share the bikes, their approach to community service sets them apart. The original bike patrol focuses more on law enforcement, such as running the radar and community education.

The new bike officers, a mix of both Civilians and Active-Duty personnel, will focus on working with residents to help solve problems in the community. The main component of the new initiative is community involvement.

Bike patrol officer Sgt. Torrian Peterson looks forward to being able to interact with the teens and build a rapport in the community.

"Working in the community will help us out in the long run," he said.

Bike police personnel hope this program, which has worked in many major cities, will help decrease issues in housing areas.

"It is an effective program and we hope that by being accessible residents will work with us," said Metzger. "If it's a concern to the community, it's a concern for us."

Metzger stresses that residents should feel safe on post and they plan to ensure that by working on issues within each community. The bike patrol officers hope that the constant interaction will bring the community and the police closer.

"Our ultimate goal is to build a safer place for everyone," said Metzger. "We don't want any Soldier at work or deployed to worry about the safety of their Family."