Cop Of The Week

by Paul Bass | July 2, 2007 1:51 PM | | Comments (2)

bike%20cop%202.jpgErstwhile Morris Cove bike cop Sgt. Racheal Inconiglios is pedaling the 62-mile round trip to and from Hammonasset these days — to gear up for a 250-mile ride from Yankee Stadium to Fenway Park in memory of 9-11’s victims in blue.

The ride is called the “Tour de Force.” Inconiglios just found out she made the cut to take part in it. So she’s bearing down to get in top shape in the off hours of her 10:30 p.m.-6:30 a.m. C Squad shift.

She’s been there before. Before the nine-year veteran joined the New Haven force, Inconiglios was a professional mountain-bike racer. Sponsored by Cannondale, Inconiglios competed on the Sobe circuit. She entered races from Canada down to Georgia. At home she practiced on wooded paths like the winding routes up and down West Rock.

“It can get hairy [on West Rock]. You can be doing a 90-degree turn; all of a sudden a five-foot drop-off sneaks up on you,” she said during a conversation at the Church and Chapel Starbucks — clearly relishing the memory.

Inconiglios, who grew up in Meriden, fell into serious cycling after high school. “I was always athletic in high school, pretty competitive.” She was an all-state center on her field hockey team, all-state high-jumper in track. But going to college while holding down a nurse’s aide job left no time for team sports. Competitive cycling offered an ideal outlet.

The competitive streak doesn’t linger fall below the surface. You can find it even in the tribal-band tattoo on Inconiglio’s right forearm. It comes with a story: To celebrate their graduation from the police academy, she and four fellow recruits — all males, she pointed out — went to the Edge. “I was the only one who walked out with a tattoo,” she boasted. “The guys said they didn’t know what they wanted.” (Tattooed lilies followed, on her left foot. She plans on adding a dragonfly tattoo to her back. “It stands for prosperity, strength, and the ability to change.”)

Joining the police force left too little time to prepare for races. But the training came in handy: Inconiglios worked for two years as the bike cop in Morris Cove. And loved it.

“When you’re talking community-based policing, I really think [bike patrols are] the best tool,” said Inconiglios, who’s 33. “You’re in the community, out talking to people, yet you’re mobile.”

A promotion to detective took her off the two-wheel beat but offered interesting new challenges. Now promoted to sergeant, she patrols the west side of town on four wheels while most people are asleep. Car-bound duty “comes with the promotion,” Inconiglios said with a shrug.

bike%20cop%201.jpgShe still bikes, of course. And not just on any bike. This photo shows her custom-built 21-speed machine: Klien frame, Dura-Ace pedals and gears, Coda stem, Mavic rims.

Inconiglios has been taking the bike out more often, and for longer stretches, since learning she advanced from the waiting list to the approved roster of 150 cops chosen for the Tour de Force. She has competed with colleagues in 5K charity races. She plans to pedal 40-60 miles every other day. “From here to Hammonasset is 62 miles. That’s a nice ride,” she said. “It’s great to be out in the open on a bike. Nothing bothers you. You put everything behind you.

“It’s a good feeling, especially knowing you’re going to be doing it for a good cause.”

Raising money for families of fallen NYPD officers is just such a cause, she said. “You do this work everyday, and you never really think about what can happen. You just do it. It’s your job.” Then a colleague dies, and it hits home, as it did for Inconiglios and her New Haven colleagues when Dan Picagli and Robert Fumiatti passed away. “We felt firsthand what it’s like to lose someone so close to you. They’re there, then one day they’re gone.”

The Tour De Force starts on Sept. 11 and ends the morning of Sept. 15 at Fenway. “And I’m a Boston Red Sox Fan,” Inconiglios added. “That’s perfect.” For more info on the race and how to contribute, click here.

(To read other installments in the Independent’s “Cop of the Week” series, click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

(To suggest an officer to be featured, click here.)

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Posted by: WEBbloger 1 | July 3, 2007 7:37 PM

Good Luck Rachael, and god speed.
Hope to see you back soon....

Posted by: ATOM | July 4, 2007 1:03 AM

"her custom-built 21-speed machine"... sounds like you must've had quite a mechanic build it ;-)

Good luck in the 'Tour'!

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