Friends of Reading Hospital donate e-bikes to West Reading and city police departments

The Friends of Reading Hospital and the Reading Hospital Community Wellness team donated a set of electric bikes to the West Reading and City of Reading Police Departments Wednesday morning during a small ceremony outside the 6th Avenue Clock Tower entrance at Reading Hospital.

Representatives from the hospital presented one bike to Sergeant Chad Marks from the West Reading Police Department and one bike to Officer Gregory Zawilla from the City of Reading Police Department.

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The donation of the e-bikes was first announced in May during the hospital’s annual “Bike to Work” event. As part of this year’s relaunch of the annual Bike to Work event, the hospital also wanted to bring back the bike donation to show support and gratitude to local municipal police departments who protect community members.

The e-bikes are specifically designed for those who serve others: police, EMTs, fire department personnel, park rangers, and forest service employees.

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“Both the West Reading and City of Reading Police Departments are great partners to Reading Hospital,” said Desha Dickson, Tower Health Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Wellness.

“We all share the common a goal of keeping our community safe and healthy, and I’m honored to be part of this event to recognize their extraordinary efforts and commitment to our community. These bikes are a small way we can thank them for their service.”

The addition of the e-bikes provides benefits for both the police and the community including: Help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution, while also reducing traffic congestion during patrols and responses in emergency situations. Officers get to a scene faster than on a traditional pedal bike. Officers will be less fatigued during pursuits and responses.

“On behalf of the West Reading Police Department, we are incredibly thankful and grateful for the wonderful partnership we have with everyone involved” said Marks “These are not only great community policing tools, but they’re also wonderful crime fighting tools. It’s really cool purpose for us, so we just want to say thank you for everyone involved and we’re really looking to deploying the bikes.”

E-bikes can go where traditional patrol vehicles cannot (e.g., through narrow passages including dense/high traffic areas, on sidewalks, through alleys, in high pedestrian zones, on bike paths, at large events, etc.). E-bikes are easier to ride. E-bikes provide greater visibility, enhancing community engagement and customer service. Bike patrol options are more cost efficient than traditional patrol cars due to lower purchase, maintenance, and fuel costs.

“The Friends are proud to collaborate with the hospital’s Community Wellness Department and our local police departments,” Sharon Keating, President, The Friends of Reading Hospital, said.

“Through our donations we strive to support the important needs of our community, as well help the hospital address opportunities identified in the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment Implementation Plan. These bikes will help make progress in the areas of green commute and violence prevention.”

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