Two Idaho Falls Police officers, who are part of the Traffic Unit, have swapped their patrol vehicles for motorcycles.
The department launched a new pilot program for motorcycle officers this summer.
The motorcycles themselves are 2006 and 2008 Honda ST 1300s, which are special police package motorcycles, and were previously used by another police agency. Each was outfitted with decals and logos that clearly identify them as Idaho Falls Police Department vehicles, as well as equipment.
Each bike has lights and sirens, a laptop for the officer to look up information and submit reports, and even a printer for tickets and accident reports typically available from an officer in a patrol car.
Just like civilian motorcyclists, officers are required to complete specialized training in order to operate the motorcycles. In order to become motorcycle officers, each officer completed an intensive two week long Idaho POST Motor Officer School. The officers have each been members of the Patrol Bureau and Traffic Unit previously in standard patrol vehicles.
Officers are also taking safety measures to protect themselves while on the roadways. Officers wear boots, pants, jackets, and gloves designed for riding. The jackets are high visibility yellow and black, and there are reflective elements throughout the clothing. Officers also wear helmets with integrated speakers and a mic that allow officers to speak with dispatch while keeping both hands on the handlebars and their focus on driving.
Officers began testing the motorcycles in late May and June as weather allowed.
Officers have now fully up-fitted each bike and are on duty during periods of the day and week with high traffic throughout the city.