Abandoned bikes in Cherry Hill to be put to good use by Camden County

Lost bicycles in Cherry Hill will soon have a new home.

Cherry hill Council passed a resolution at last night’s meeting authorizing an agreement between the township and Camden County. Cherry Hill Police will send its allotment of lost bikes to the county’s BikeShare program.

Cherry Hill Police Chief William Monaghan said the agreement will allow the bikes to be put to good use.

“They’re going to refurbish the bicycles and then donate them to underprivileged children throughout the county,” Monaghan said. “They’ll piece them up and put them together so they can build a bike out of a couple other bikes.”

Camden County BikeShare is volunteer program where bike enthusiasts and builders accept donated bikes from residents or organizations within the county. There are multiple locations where the used bikes are repaired. They are then sent to a distribution point. Cherry Hill has both a repair facility and a distribution point.

Previously, the township had been working with other organizations in a similar program. Monaghan said the township has been working with a church the past five to seven years in a similar program.

The township has about 40 bikes in its possession. These include bikes abandoned on the side of the road as well as unclaimed lost bikes. With regard to missing bikes, Monaghan said there is a set amount of time after a bike goes missing for the owner to claim it. After a period of time expires, the bike becomes township property.

Enrolling in the program will save the township the time and money it takes to store the bikes, fix them and find them a new home.

“Previously, we had to auction the bikes off, which is a process,” Monaghan said. “It’s going to save us money in the long run with things like storage fees.”

The police department will also be able to add personnel through a state grant.

In a separate resolution, the police department was authorized to participate in New Jersey’s Safe and Secure Communities Program.

The state Department of Law and Public Safety administers Safe and Secure Communities. Monaghan said participation in the program allows the township to receive grant money to help offset a portion of two salaries.

“We’re able to add personnel to our community and traffic safety units,” he said.

The Safe and Secure Communities program allows Cherry Hill to help pay for extra personnel in these departments so more officers can be available in other areas. The grants help to fund more than 300 additional offices across New Jersey.