Dallas Police Officer Chris Aulbaugh isn’t pursuing dangerous criminals in a patrol car – he’s chasing them on a bicycle.
“I can go places a car can’t go, and we’re more approachable by the public,” Aulbaugh says.
Aulbaugh is one of two bicycle officers in the Dallas Police Department’s Northeast Division.
Equipped with a $1,000 mountain bike, Aulbaugh patrols the Vickery Park area from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. targeting criminals who have fled crime scenes on foot.
“We do what we can to capture them and then call on our radio for a patrol car,” Aulbaugh says.
By patrolling the neighborhood on a bike, Aulbaugh says he can travel the rugged terrain and ease in and out of tight places he wouldn’t be able to reach in a police car.
Aulbaugh says he has chased criminals into courtyards, breezeways, alleys, and in and out of parking lots.
Aulbaugh, a 10-year law enforcement veteran, has worked at the Northeast Division for more than five years and as a bike officer for more than three years.
Aulbaugh says he often is asked to patrol a neighborhood plagued by burglaries. He says he is able to peer over fences while riding through alleys and often spots burglaries in progress.
Aulbaugh says the mechanics of police work, especially a chase and arrest of a criminal, make his job rewarding.
“But there’s something more rewarding than that – being able to be there when people need you.”
Aulbaugh is a member of the Dallas Police Association, and he organized the Jr. Crime Watch program, “Indigo Rangers,” for children who live in the apartment community near Forest Lane and Audelia.