By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — They’re on the road again.
The Trussville Police Department last Monday rolled out two motorcycles to enforce traffic laws, the 2008 Harley Davidson Road Kings driving up and down Trussville streets for the first time since March 2013. The motorcycles came off the road at that time due to promotions within the department. The Motor Unit was formed in 2008.
The motorcycles offer greater maneuverability and are cheaper to operate than other patrol vehicles. The primary duty of the Motor Unit is traffic enforcement, especially in residential areas.
Officers Scotty Bates and Joseph Dunn operate the motorcycles. They qualified for the job after a two-week training in Hoover, in which they encountered every terrain and maneuver possible on a motorcycle. Trussville Police Department Lt. Jeff Bridges called it an “intense training.”
Bates, who’s been with the department for 12 years, rode dirt bikes when he was a teenager. Bates said he applied for this job just to try something new.
“Everybody loves motorcycles,” he said.
Dunn, who’s been with the department since 2008, said he bought a motorcycle when he was in his 20s. He developed a passion for it.
“It’s a blast,” Dunn said. “That’s where my enthusiasm comes from wanting to do this professionally.”
Bridges said their primary function is to enforce traffic laws. The response time is quicker for a motorcycle than a typical patrol vehicle. This allows patrol vehicles to respond to other calls in the city. Plus, the motorcycles can be utilized in homecoming parades and other events.
The motorcycles were on display at Trussville’s National Night Out event last week. Dunn said they demonstrated how to ride the motorcycles and let kids see the “cool gadgets” that are attached to them. Dunn said the event allowed the officers to show the community what it offers them.
The job is the same, but riding on a motorcycle is different than being inside a patrol vehicle. Dunn said a patrol vehicle can be like a “barrier” between himself and Trussville citizens. He said it’s easy to speak with people — especially curious kids — from the motorcycle. It varies based on calls, but the motorcycles tally up about 90 miles per day.
When Bates and Dunn hit the streets last week, they did so during what may have been the hottest week of the year. In the first two days, Dunn lost eight pounds of what he figures to be water weight. Bates said he drinks at least two gallons of water per day. They stop for lunch, to cool off inside gas stations and to complete paperwork.
“It’s been fun,” Dunn said.
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