The History of the Ardmore Police Department Motorcycle Unit
The Ardmore police department implemented the motor unit after researching our traffic accident rates and monitoring the flow of traffic throughout the city. In doing so, it was determined that excessive speed and an aggressive driving behavior were commonplace. We presented the motor unit as a tool to lower accident rates and encourage a less aggressive attitude toward driving. To achieve that goal, the motor unit was also intended to play a role in public relations. Our Chief and Deputy Chief were on board from the beginning. Their support, along with the support from our city manager and city commission was positive and the process moved along quickly.
We studied every motorcycle on the market and decided that Harley- Davidson was the best choice for our city. We compared cost, availability, repairs, resale value, and every other aspect of the motorcycle. We also took into consideration the public opinion or perception of the motorcycle. We are in southern Oklahoma and this is predominately Harley- Davidson country. Once that decision was made, we received so much help from our sales rep, David Magers.
We then attended motor school through the Northwestern University and Harley- Davidson. The instructors were extremely knowledgeable and a great help. Harley- Davidson provided the motorcycles we trained on. Each student had a new Road King assigned to them for the duration of the school. We were very impressed with the commitment to the training program and the quality of both the equipment and the instruction.
Our city manager, JD Spohn stated “the City of Ardmore is proud of the motorcycle unit implemented by the police department. I know the Mayor and City Commission appreciate the efforts of the police department to keep our community safe. The addition of the motorcycle unit has been a huge success and we have received many positive comments from our citizens. By patrolling the high traffic areas such as school zones and major thoroughfares, traffic accidents have been reduced and police visibility has greatly increased. The two officers assigned to the motorcycle unit are dedicated to the success of this unit and are experienced motorcycle enthusiasts. The addition and funding of the Harley-Davidson Police Motorcycle Unit in Ardmore has been one of the best community relations decisions we have made in years!” Our Deputy Chief, Kevin Norris said “the idea of the motor unit was proposed by Sgt. Gee and Officer Long. Once the motor unit program was implemented, we saw a decrease in vehicle accidents. Our department, as a whole, averaged around 1000 traffic stops a month. The two motor units themselves have averaged 550 stops per month. Though our motor units are making a large amount of stops and issuing citations, the public response has been great. The public loves the motor units and our motor unit officers have become quite the celebrities”. Our Chief, Ken Grace stated “the motor units have been a tremendous asset to our community. The citizens have done nothing but brag on the motor unit and it has been a great community servicing tool. The motor units respond to areas of town that citizens complain about traffic enforcement and when they see our response they are extremely happy. The motor units are working out really well and we are looking forward to putting two more units out in the future.
Information and Photos provided by the Ardmore, OK Police Department.