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Mercedes-Benz Donates 50 Bikes to Chicago Police
Mercedes-Benz Donates 50 Mountain Bikes to the Chicago Police DepartmentMercedes-Benz USA will announce -- on Friday morning May 18 as part of a kick-off event celebrating Mayor Daley's Bike Month -- the donation of 50 specially modified, all-terrain mountain bikes, worth $100,000 which will be presented to the City of Chicago's Police Department. Expected to be present at the Daley Plaza celebration to accept the gift is Mayor Richard Daley and Deputy Chief of Police Frank Radke, head of the departments special functions group, which oversees the bike patrol unit.

As part of a larger grass roots initiative, the company will donate 1,000 Mercedes Benz mountain bikes to law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. The super-sophisticated, high-performance "zero-emission" means of transportation has been specially modified for police use.

"It is our hope the Chicago Police officers in the unit will truly enjoy our great bike," said Joe Messner, general manager of the Mercedes-Benz USA Chicago region. "Our goal through our donation is to improve our quality-of-life, help reduce crime and thus make the streets of Chicago cleaner and safer for everyone, while helping to reduce the force's budget."

Mountain bikes have become chosen modes of transportation by many urban and suburban police forces. Community policing traces its roots to neighborhood police officers that walked a beat and knew, and were known by, local residents and merchants. For many police departments, bike officers are far more versatile and effective than foot patrols in a variety of environments. It has also been proven to be one of the most effective methods of reducing crime in both urban and suburban environments. The expansion of bike patrols and community policing activities is designed to provide improved quality-of-life, safer streets, reduced crime, increased real estate values and business growth.

"These bikes are state-of-the-art equipment and will go a long way in helping our bike patrol officers be more effective on the street," said Chief Radke. "We are grateful for the support and generosity Mercedes-Benz has shown with this gift."

There are approximately 1,400 active bike patrol units in operation within local, city, state and federal law enforcement agencies across the country, according to the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA). "Bike officers can travel faster and farther than foot officers and they are able to patrol areas unreachable by car. They also have a stealth advantage," said Maureen Becker, executive director of IPMBA.

The Mercedes-Benz all-terrain mountain bike features a super-lightweight Alcoa all-aluminum frame, hydraulic rear shock absorber, front and rear disc brakes, and Shimano Nexave drivetrain with 24-speed gearing. Police duty models are fitted with a specific rear sub-frame with a welded rack pack plus minor surface finish changes. Mercedes-Benz precision-engineered bicycles are hand-made in the USA by AMP Research in Laguna Hills, California.

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