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West Island police using fat bikes to patrol tough terrain


Police in Montreal’s West Island have adopted a new way of patrolling dense forests and snowed-out trails.

Officers in Kirkland are riding fat bikes.

“A fat bike is like a regular bike but with fat tires. So the tires are actually bigger and wider. These tires are four and a half inches wide,” says Olivier Archambault, a Montreal police officer.

The station is expanding its fleet of the specialized officers, who can weave through dense brush and icy terrain to administer first aid.

“We have the snow shoes which help us to walk in the woods if we need to go off the trails, we’ve got first aid kits, we’ve got some plans and maps of the different parks in the area,” says Archambault.

About 40 per cent of the area they patrol comprises parks, fields and forests—some too dense for a police car or an ATV.

Archambault and Sylvain Brousseau were the first officers in Montreal to pick up the novel form of transportation and now patrol the forests every day.

“When someone calls 911, in snowy conditions like today, and they’re experiencing hypothermia, someone on a fat bike can get to them more easily,” says Brousseau.

The bikes are also helpful when searching for a missing person because they can access forested areas where other officers may not go.

Brousseau says he hopes this initiative will help change a common belief among residents that police won’t venture into the woods. Top Stories

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