A local businessman is lending a hand to two Western Mass police departments.
Gary Kennedy is the co-owner of Competitive Edge Ski and Bike Shop in East Longmeadow. After hearing both Springfield and Westfield police needed police bikes, he decided to make a donation.
On Thursday morning, Kennedy donated two brand-new police tactical bicycles to the two departments.
He said he heard current police bikes were in disrepair and he knew he needed to help.
The bikes were presented to the departments at Riverfront Park in Springfield.
With help from Trek Road Bikes, they were donated to honor fallen officers Kevin Ambrose, of Springfield, and Jose Torres, of Westfield. The donated bikes have the fallen officers' names and badge numbers on them and will be used in tactical bike patrols and details in both cities.
Springfield police Sgt. John Delaney said the bikes will help his officers when it comes to patrolling the streets.
"Bike patrol is one of the most important patrols we got going on right now. It's public relations. Guys on bikes are able to talk to citizens that are out cutting their lawns, business owners outside their businesses. They're not driving around in a police car," said Delaney.
The new bikes would have cost the stations about $1,000 each.
Westfield police Sgt. Eric Hall said the donation came at a much needed time.
"The bikes take a lot of abuse because we ride year-round through the winter months and throughout the year. We struggle to replace the bikes when they do get tired so this helps tremendously," said Hall.
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