Bicycle Information

A Brookline officer speaks with a woman, who is holding a Hubway Bike Share BikePatrol Bike Unit

The Patrol Bike Unit was officially incorporated into the Patrol Division in 2010. The Patrol Bike Unit (PBU) is currently staffed by 17 Patrol Officers from the Patrol Division. In addition, the PBU is supervised by Sergeant Brian Sutherland and Sergeant Casey Hatchett and falls under the command of Deputy Richard Allen. 

The objective of the Patrol Bike Unit is to supplement the Patrol Division’s function by adding to the Department's proactive approach to law enforcement and service to the community. The PBU will be assigned to multiple tasks, including patrolling business areas, enforcing bike laws, enforcing motor vehicle laws in congested areas, assisting in anticrime initiatives and serving as a visible presence in the community. 

All officers of the Patrol Bike Unit must attend and successfully complete a Mountain Bike Patrol School certified by the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Council known as COBWEB (Cops On Bikes With Education for Bicyclists). COBWEB is the original Massachusetts Police Mountain Bike Patrol Course designed to train the officers for his/her duties while on a Bike Patrol Unit.

Bicycle Safety, Enforcement and Registration

The Brookline Police Department believes that the education and enforcement of traffic laws, for both bicyclists and motorists, is critical to improving bicycle safety and enjoyment. In order to provide a safe environment for bicyclists in the town of Brookline, the BPD has implemented a Bicycle Enforcement Program. The Bicycle Enforcement Program will use educational programs coupled with targeted enforcement of traffic laws specific to bicycle safety.

Bicycle Safety Tips:

  1. Follow basic traffic rules that apply to motor vehicles.
  2. Follow the flow of traffic. Ride in the same direction.
  3. Yield the right of way to pedestrians, particularly to school children.
  4. Obey all traffic signals and posted signs.
  5. Packages must be carried properly (in a basket, rack or backpack.)
  6. Proper bicycle lighting includes white light in front and red light in rear for night riding.

Bicycle Laws

The full text of the laws pertaining to bicyclists and bicycling in Massachusetts can be found in the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, B and B ½, and Chapter 85, Section 11E. Follow this link for a concise description of state laws pertaining to bicyclists and bicycling.

On May 16, 2013 the Town of Brookline’s Transportation Board in conjunction with the Brookline Police Department and Department of Public Works issued a Draft of Article XII, which is scheduled to take effect without any changes on June 16, 2013.

Bicycle Registration

The Brookline Police Department runs a voluntary bicycle registration program. You can arrange an appointment to have your bicycle registered by calling the main number, (617) 730-2222 and asking to speak with a member of the Patrol Bicycle Unit, or by emailing the Unit’s Supervisor, Sgt. Sutherland at or Sgt. Hatchett

In 2020 we had 140 bicycles reported stolen in Brookline. Registered bikes have a greater chance of being returned to owners when lost or stolen.