GEORGE TOWN: The Penang police contingent is set to become the first in the country to patrol in electric bicycles. In a one month pilot project, cops will patrol in seven electric bicyles in a bid to prevent crime and to foster closer ties with the community. Announcing the men-in-blue initiative, which is also part of three private companies' Corporate Social ResponsibIlity (CSR) efforts, state police chief CP Datuk Chuah Ghee Lye said that both sides want to reduce crime. "This initiative is also geared towards making police visible especially in tourism hotspots. "Also, it encourages policemen to be fit and instils the importance of practising a healthy lifestyle among officers. "If the E-bicycle project goes on smoothly, state police will give feedback to Bukit Aman police headquarters to consider using it around the country," he said. He said this would give the police an additional mode of transport, besides its patrol car, motorcycle patrol unit (URB) and the beat patrol. Chuah said this initiative would also ensure better interaction with the public. On how it works, Chuah said the "Volano" brand of electric bicycles made from China was equipped with rechargable batteries and can be ridden up to a 50km distance with speeds up to 25kph. "It is also in line with our force policy of promoting greenery," he said. The three companies which contributed were Vangohh Eminent Hotel, BKTN Resources Sdn Bhd and Syncly Trading Sdn Bhd with each of them forking out about RM3,680. Out of the seven electric bicycles, Chuah added three would be handed over to state police headquarters, two to Batu Ferringhi police station and two to Queensbay police station in Southwest district. He expressed his gratitude to the companies, who assisted the police with their CSR.