New Missouri City motorcycle patrol hits the road
By Betsy Dolan
Speeders beware – the boys in blue are hitting the roads in a new way in Missouri City.
A new five-person motorcycle unit is officially patrolling the streets on specially designed Victory cycles.
While the officers are enjoying the ride, their focus is on public safety.
Between 2012 and 2013, Missouri City saw a 50 percent increase in traffic accidents. The new motorcycle unit will be used to target traffic violators while allowing patrol vehicles to focus on protecting neighborhoods and businesses.
“The newly formed motorcycle unit offers another opportunity for us to be responsive to the concerns of our community, specifically concerns regarding the safety of our roadways,” Chief of Police Mike Berezin said.
The five-person unit is made up of Sergeant Tracy Cox, Officer Michael Bukowski, Officer Robert Lawson, Officer Ben Lampe and Officer Brian Norwood. The officers underwent training in Tucson as part of a Victory program that allowed each officer to see the complete construction of their motorcycle, which the group spent three days riding back to Missouri City once their training was complete.
“These four officers and one sergeant will be located in various Missouri City neighborhoods and communities, which is where we actually receive most of our calls and complaints regarding traffic,” Assistant Police Chief Keith Jemison said.
The Victory Cross County motorcycles have been specially designed for police work. There is a ballistic skid plate on the underside that can protect from below and can also be used as a shield from gun fire when the bike is turned on its side. The bikes are equipped to hold and store a full-size collapsible rifle, include an iPod/iPad docking station and a camera recording system.
“We went through a pretty rigorous trial period, looking at bikes used in nearby departments and testing out different types, and Chief (Berezin) knew that the Victory vehicles were the best for our outfit,” said Officer Norwood.
The motorcycle unit’s implementation is the result of several years of effort on behalf of City Council, Police Department staff, City employees and several former Missouri City leaders such as former Chief of Police Joel Fitzgerald and former Councilmember Brett Kolaja.
City Council approved the formation and funding of the unit in 2013; revenues from a Council-approved property tax increase the same year were allocated to fund the motorcycle unit, one new firefighter and employee salary adjustments.
“It is very satisfying to see something we’ve worked so hard to bring to the City finally implemented,” City Councilmember Jerry Wyatt said. “I know the members of our Police Department are excited to begin patrolling on their new vehicles, and more importantly I know this will be a great benefit to our citizens.”
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