DENVER (CBS4) — School is nearly out for summer, which means it’s prime bike riding season. On Saturday, dozens of kids were able to do just that as part of a brand-new partnership between the Denver Police department and non-profit Wish for Wheels.
“(We) came together to say, ‘How can we give away aside from our typical backpack giveaway, and what other events can we do?’” said Executive Director of the Denver Police Foundation Megan Pletcher.
Pletcher says the Community Repair Program developed a short time later.
“Riding was my adventure, my freedom,” said Brad Appel, Founder of Wish for Wheels. “That’s how I found my friends and rode all over the place and that’s what I want to do for kids.”
Appel wants to give kids that opportunity as well. Wish for Wheels provided repair stands, tools, and other supplies for officers to make minor repairs on bikes in the community.
The pilot program launched at District 3 and will eventually expand to all six Denver Police districts.
“What do you think of the bike?” CBS4’s Mekialaya White asked a pair of recipients. With a smile and thumbs up, they replied, “It’s good!”
The mission of the program is not only to repair bikes, but to repair the community by breaking down barriers.
“That’s really what we’re about. We’re really helpers in this community and it’s just another opportunity where we can be of help,” Division Chief Ron Thomas told White.
“We want kids and community members here to say, I recognize officer so-and-so. And say, I remember them from when they helped me fix my bicycle,” said Pletcher.
Appel added, “They’re community advocates, heroes, people to keep them safe and keep them rolling and that’s what the police are all about.”
The program is funded thanks to the Denver Police Foundation. If you would like to donate, DPD says you can do so by texting DONATE to 844-981-2677.