Motor Officer Training
Many people assume that an officer is qualified for police motorcycle duty simply on the strength of prior experience operating civilian motorcycles. Not so! The high load factor of police motorcycles, along with the unusual distribution of the load, results in unique handling characteristics. This, plus the high speeds and/or maneuverability required of police motorcyclists, creates the need for higher-level skills than civilian riders are equipped to master without specialized training.
Harley-Davidson, in collaboration with Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety offers an intensive 80-hour program to develop the coordination, skill and confidence necessary for the police officers to operate a police motorcycle safely and efficiently. It covered:
• Machine nomenclature
• Slow speed maneuvering
• Curve negotiation
• Defensive driving techniques
• Law enforcement techniques
The motor unit’s members include
• Lt. Steve Weiler
• Sgt. Pat Tierney
• Sgt. Ken Gross
• Ofc. Robert Kendall
The police department owns two 2008 Harley-Davidson FLHTP motorcycles. Each motorcycle features an air-cooled, rubber-mounted, 1584cc Twin Cam 96 engine. Each motorcycle weighs approximately 780 lbs and gets an average of 54 mpg/hwy and 35/city.
The motor officers participate in numerous public events both within the Village of Forest Park and in other communities. Some of the events our motor officers attended in other towns this past year include:
• Columbus Day Parade, Chicago, IL
• St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Chicago, IL
• Illinois Police Memorial Parade, Springfield, IL
• Toys for Tots, Chicago, IL
Please remember, motorcycles can be difficult to see and may get lost in your blind spot easily, so pay extra attention. Also remember that motorcycles can stop much quicker than cars so keep extra distance between you and the motorcycle in front of your car.
Have a great and safe summer.