It may look more like an adventure sport than a crime deterrent. But dirt bikes are indeed the Fort Worth Police Department's latest crime-fighting tool.
"They want us out here on the trails and city parks," says Officer Walter May, who was riding one of the bikes Tuesday.
Until now, Fort Worth's popular Trinity Trails and public parks had been somewhat tough to patrol, unless you were on foot, horseback or bicycle. And even then, chasing criminals or preventing crime was challenging, says officer Walter May.
"They're very limited as to how quickly or far they can go," May says.
But May showed WFAA Tuesday how the new dirt bikes are changing that.
"These bikes are capable of going just about anywhere," May says-- meaning, there can now be a police presence in places there might not have been before.
"I think it's a really good thing," says Orin Van Langen, who rides his bike on the trails up to five times a week. "I don't really feel unsafe but I'm sure there are dangers out there."
Indeed, last December, police said two women were attacked on their afternoon jogs along the trails. It was enough to make Monica Windes rethink her own running routine.
"I didn't come to the trail to run anymore," she says.
But the new dirt bike patrol, she says, puts her more at ease.
"Just to keep people safe and to keep anyone who's thinking of doing harm to choose not to," Windes says.
There are eight of these bikes in total and they will help patrol Fort Worth's 82 miles of trails—and beyond. The city's new tool for the trails just debuted this week.
Copyright 2016 WFAA