Police Dept. Receives New Bikes to Honor Fallen Officer

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SCRANTON -- Three weeks ago, Scranton Patrolman John Wilding died in the line of duty while chasing three robbery suspects.

Now, his memory is living on through the city's five new police bicycles donated by Toyota of Scranton.

Patrolman Wilding was known for riding his bike through Scranton's west side.

"Officer Wilding was a bike officer, a community police officer and he died doing what he loved to do," said Chief Carl Graziano, Scranton Police.

Each bike costs about $2,000 and features decals to honor the fallen officer.

"Now, John will ride with his fellow officers forever," added Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright.

Chief Graziano says the department's bikes were about 10 years old and showing their age.

With bikes on the force, the chief says officers are much more approachable and help foster a better relationship in the community.

"When a car pulls up to an intersection, the public is not going to come up and talk to them," explained Graziano. "But when there's an officer on a bicycle standing next to them, they're more likely to come up and engage in a conversation and that's where you get that strong police community partnership."

"They can be very mobile," said Greg Gagorik of Toyota of Scranton. "They can get to locations in an emergency very quickly, but be very visible to our community and I think that's really important to them."

On top of the police bicycles, this is also the sixth fundraiser for Patrolman Wilding's family, supported by the wives of the Scranton Police Department. Over those sixth fundraisers, organizers say they've sold more than 3,000 t-shirts honoring Wilding.

"It's very emotional for most of us," said Mary Ellen Condron, a wife of a Scranton Police officer. "It's great support. We didn't imagine we'd have this much support. We've had to reorder supplies several times now. We've sold out of signs, shirts, everything a couple different times."

This isn't the first time Toyota of Scranton has helped out the city's police department. The dealership donated a police cruiser back in May.

4 comments

  • BrianGriffin

    Where are these bike or footman patrols centered? Haven’t seen anyone patrolling our west side neighborhood all summer. There’s an SUV sitting now close to four weeks abandoned on our street, the drug den “barber shop” on the corner is still doing a brisk business with multiple mercedes benz’s and lexus’s with texas plates sitting outside it. What real “barber shop” is open for business at 1am on a thursday? The neighborhood is a mess yet none of these patrols ever seem to be around unless they’re chasing someone down through from a main ave home invasion.

    • BrianGriffin

      Oh, and as far as stopping to talk to these officers…several of us did, multiple times over a year ago, to point out areas of concern, yet the officers showed zero interest, and nothing was ever done.

  • Alan Sygorsky

    My question is where the commemorative statue is in courthouse square? This man gave his life and the statue I have been hearing about is not even up yet. We could show just a little bit more live and support people. Let’s get this done. For his friends and his family.

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