Febbraio 15, 2021
On 21 September 2020, colleagues Mauro and Andrea, instructors from the Italian Academy “Pattuglia in Bicicletta” (AIPIB), introduced themselves at our Local Police Headquarters in Treviso. The “Bike Patrol” course (pattuglia in bicicletta) aims to train police operators in the best techniques for conducting and using the velocipede as a professional tool. The course was held in two parts: in the classroom for a first theoretical part and then in an open space for what can certainly be defined as the most exciting part: the practice. And for this reason, Mauro and Andrea arranged perfectly the car park behind the Command, preparing a path formed by cones, beams, pallets apparently complex for our usual skills. With a worthy theory accompanied by practical demonstrations, we slowly embarked on this mission.
The first exercise was a slalom with very tight curves: this exercise changed the approach with the surrounding space. The trick was to look towards the exit of the curve and open the knee towards the inside of the curve, in this way the bicycle turned on its own. But watch out for the next tight curve from the opposite direction! Low ratio, low speed but fast in the movements. Then it was the turn of the square. Four sides (one meter each) delimited by cones within which it had to rotate around the imaginary center of the square. At first glance it seemed to everyone an impossible mission. However, in a few days we all managed to do it. Or rather, two or three of us entered the square at the same time. It looked like a circus! Another exercise was that of the serpentine. Same input: at low speed and with the right approach you can do everything.
Even more tricky was the slalom where taller cones had to pass underneath between the cross tube and the front wheel. Things were starting to get interesting. But do you think we would have stopped? Absolutely not, try and try again, try and try again until this cone decides to come out unscathed on the right side. Other exercises were to remain in balance on the bike without pedaling and thus remaining stationary with a margin of a few centimeters, the lateral fall in which one closes in a hedgehog “not to get hurt” according to Mauro. The next day bruises all over but let’s overlooks these little details. When we were little, how many of us didn’t make at least one skid by applying the rear brake? I believe everyone. Here, the instructors showed us the best way to be quick to leave the bike and wear out the tires like there was no tomorrow. Seriously, in the case of a chase, this technique is very useful.
We lacked a bit of dexterity in picking up the ball from the ground on the fly while remaining in the saddle without stopping, nevertheless the crew was not limited to try, try and try again. You know Grandma how she gets on and off her bicycle? She made us smile at least a little the first time we saw her. However, ladies and gentlemen, that is the most convenient way for a police officer to get on or off the vehicle. Yes, because it is quick, comfortable and even for the shorter ones it is easier to mount. In Treviso we have several parks to watch over … And what if not patrolling by bicycle? The descent from the steps can be dangerous if you do not know how to move the centre of gravity. Mauro and Andrea also taught us this. And uphill? Bike on your shoulder, and you walk! After having juggled the movements, here comes the time of the operative techniques. For example, positioning yourself behind the bicycle and not in front. But why? It seems trivial but if the alleged attacker rushes at you, the bicycle will hinder you and make you fall. Otherwise, if the bike is in front of you, the attacker will fall. We have learned to stop a fugitive using the structure of the bike, blocking a knee between the frame and the wheel to contain him or to use the velocipede as a shield and defend ourselves from an attack with sidearms.
Finally, with the shooting instructor, also named Andrea, we explored what dynamic shooting is on the bike. The simulation alone gave us a lot of adrenaline! These techniques and exercises have shaped our view of things. It is nice to start looking at our work with new eyes! It was a very busy week, but we can say that this course, in addition to giving us new visions on this means of work, has given us the beauty of the little things like being together, getting to know each other, laughing, making mistakes, getting up and trying again.
Grazie ai colleghi per il senso di squadra respirato: Robazza F., Pillon I., Vitangeli S., Castellaro M., Scarfì L., Zanchetta R., Noal S., Bellinato A., Scarabello D., Cimmino L., Napoli D., Vettorazzo N. e Moreno.
A special thanks to the Commander Dr. Andrea Gallo for having shown sensitivity in giving us the possibility, not at all obvious, to experience this training adventure on a professional and personal level, as well as to Mauro and the two Andrea for having enriched us with their experience in these days.
Ag. Zanatta C. e Ag. Sc. Caramel S.
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