By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Police bike patrol unit is sporting brand new lights, front and rear, thanks to the Philadelphia Police Foundation.

The nonprofit organization has provided needed equipment to the police department not covered in the city’s budget — items such as ballistic vests for officers, and trailers to help the mounted patrol unit convey horses from place to place.

When foundation president Maureen Rush (standing at left in photo) heard that bike officers lacked a front light for illumination and a rear red light for visibility in traffic, the foundation raised more than $28,000 to purchase hundreds of them.

“They will not only be a straight stream of light, but they can be a blinking light, so officers responding to a 911 call can get people’s attention more by having a strobe light, just like you do in a police car,” she said today.

Lt. Paul Watson leads bicycle patrol training at the Philadelphia Police Academy.

“This definitely increases an officer’s visibility and safety,” he said.

The front light, which is USB rechargeable, can double as a flashlight off the bike, when needed.