Muscatine Police Department officers are challenged to find ways to make the community they live in better, and to connect to members of that community. Officers strive to build relationships that will last.

Each shift in the department has adopted different outreach projects to help accomplish this goal. The day shift officers spend time in and around various apartment complexes to serve as liaisons and build that connection. The second shift sponsors Coffee with a Cop events in which residents can come and visit with officers.

The third shift decided to sponsor a bike giveaway to several area children. Captain Steve Snider says the initial idea was to refurbish lost and stolen bikes that have remained unclaimed. Officers spent time working on the bikes, only to find that the majority were beyond repair.

The officers did not want to give up on the idea, and instead decided to raise money for local businesses and individuals to purchase new bikes.

Snider says that the shift would like to thank Wolfe Construction, the Muscatine Police Association, Emerald Custom Detailing, Melon City Renovation, Boonies, TK Construction, and JHK Charitable Trust.  With the help of these organizations, the shift was able to purchase over 80 bikes at cost from Wal-Mart in Muscatine.

Officers then spent time putting the bikes together. Once completed, school resource officers spoke to teachers in the district for assistance in determining which children were in need.

Children who were nominated were asked to write a letter explaining why they would like a new bike and what it would mean to them.

Once the letters were submitted and the recipients chosen, the kids and their families were invited to a pizza party at the police station with pizza donated by Salvatore’s.

In addition to receiving a new bike, the kids were able to pick a new bike helmet from the helmets donated by Central Middle School eighth grade students last May.

Each bike was registered with the city at no charge to the recipients.

Snider says, “This is the tip of the iceberg. We have more left to hand out. We will be holding drawings at several community events that are coming up.”

Snider goes on to say, “This really was a community effort. It was not just us; there were so many people who helped to make this possible.”