LEETONIA Law enforcers patrol streets, trails on bikes

Leetonia police hope to have four officers on bikes in the spring.
LEETONIA -- Leetonia and Salem Township police are on patrol on two wheels.
Both departments started a bike patrol program in recent days, and worked the Leetonia Artisans Festival and the high school football game over the weekend.
Leetonia Police Chief John Soldano said Patrolman Mike Sinkovich and township Constable Dan Valentine are on patrol, including periodic checks of the portion of the Greenway Bike Trail that winds through the township and the village.
Soldano said he plans to join them in the spring and also add a third officer from his department.
Funding: He said because the Greenway Trail is involved, Columbiana County Parks' Friends of the Park bought Valentine's bicycle. Sinkovich is using his own bike with council providing about $500 for clothing and equipment.
Valentine is collecting donations to equip his bicycle, including siren, tire pump, first aid kit, etc., Soldano said.
Sinkovich and Valentine began the program by patrolling the Leetonia football game Sept. 7, Soldano said.
Bike patrol officers are effective because they can go where cruisers can't and do so quietly, Soldano said. He also likes the idea of the officers patrolling the bike trail and having more contact with the public, especially children and teen-agers, he said.

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