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Saturday, January 28, 2023

City commissioners were dismissive about a proposed mandatory bicycle registration program during the commission’s bimonthly meeting Thursday.

"According to UPD, theft is the No. 1 crime problem at the University of Florida, and bicycles are the No. 1 target," said Yvonne Hinson-Rawls, District 1 city commissioner.

Both Gainesville Police and University Police already have free voluntary bicycle registration programs, but a mandatory program could help law enforcement find stolen bicycles more effectively.

"It could really help us deter what’s happening and lower our crime rates," said Sgt. Jaime Kurnick, a Gainesville crime prevention officer. "That’s really what we’re here for. It’s what I’m here for and the reason I joined GPD."

Mandatory bicycle registration programs have been employed in other Florida cities like Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach and St. Petersburg, with either no cost or $1 fees to register and citations ranging from $10 to $93, Kurnick said.

Bike Licenses

The commission made no action on the agenda item but encouraged the promotion of the UPD and GPD programs.

"We already have a mechanism for (registration). We just may not have many people participating," Mayor Ed Braddy said.

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