A downtown police officer began his new assignment of bicycle duty this week but has failed to intimidate anyone he’s encountered. Officer Jimmy Haskins tried to make his presence known by riding his mountain bike on the streets of Charleston, but everyone thought he was just some dorky security guard riding his bike to work.
When trying to frighten people by staring at them through his wrap-around sunglasses didn’t work, he began riding his bike down a set of five stairs to show people he means business. When Officer Haskins witnessed someone jaywalking, he came to a skidding stop and gave them a strong verbal warning, which was almost immediately ignored.
Jaywalker Jenny Freeman didn’t realize Officer Haskins was a police officer when she saw him. “I had no idea that dude was a cop,” she said. “I just thought he was some middle-age dude going through a mid-life fitness crisis. I didn’t even know they made compression golf shirts. You learn something every day.”
Officer Haskins was frustrated by the lack of action on bike duty so far. “When calls come in, the cops in cars usually get there first and I usually arrive completed winded when it’s all over. At least it’s better than being on Segway patrol. People just thought I was a city tour guide and kept asking me where the nearest froyo place is.”
Officer Haskins hopes to perform well enough on bike duty so that he’s considered for a promotion to moped duty next year. “It’s going to happen,” he said. “After doing moped duty, I’ll move up to motorcycles, then smart car patrol, then Prius duty, and eventually I’ll hopefully make my way up to a real police car some day.”