The Marana Police Department is on the cutting edge of law enforcement technology with new stealth like patrol motorcycles.
With a 180-thousand dollar state grant, MPD is using the money for things like new equipment, training, vehicles, and patrol motorcycles eventually replacing its current fleet of BMWs with Victory motorcycles.
The stealth like motorcycles are like no other in country, "these will be the first two, come Monday, to be on the road in this paint scheme in the United States," says Marana Patrol officer Brad Clifford, "what's really neat about the Victory is that you can actually drop the Victory and basically ride out of it. It's very protective on the legs and the rider itself."
Breaking away from the traditional glossy black and white paint scheme with shiny chrome, Mike Schultz with Victory Police Motorcycles, says the stealthy flat black bikes have added safety features to better protect officers, "every police motorcycle from Victory comes with a full length skid plate, there's the beauty of it, now I'm getting shot at. I've got the motorcycle laid over on its side, notice how it's giving me full protection on my torso, all my vitals are now protected. That's how the bikes come, that's the full length skid plate underneath."
Called the Commander One, the police issued Victorys are shipped to Tucson from Iowa stripped down to the frame. Schultz says it takes about three months for the custom work to be completed at Arizona Victory at Speedway and I-10, "what's really nice is to have a community like Tucson really being the backbone of what's going to be what I think is going to be the next generation police motorcycle to ever hit the market and they're being built right here in Tucson, Arizona."
On each side of the 1800 cc Victory, with a top speed of 123 miles per hour, there are forged engine guards, also known as crash bars, to provide even more protection in case of a crash, "we limit the lean angle at 34 degrees," explains Schultz, "the purpose of that is to make sure the officer sitting in this cocoon is protected. It's all about officer safety."
And protection to the pocketbooks of taxpayers, "the bike's durable," as Schultz allows the Victory to drop on its side in a demonstration. Try doing that with any other motorcycle, and you're looking at hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in repairs, "you're not going to hurt this motorcycle, that's what they do, is they take a beating," Schultz says with confidence.
And Officer Clifford says the savings continue with lower maintenance costs, "to put is simply, it's $1,200 to put in a BMW clutch, it's about $300 to do a clutch on a victory."
In addition to the new motorcycles, the Marana Police Department will unveil a new DUI enforcement vehicle next week, also paid for by the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety. Officers say it will help continue to keep Marana's roads safe from drunk drivers. There have been no alcohol or drug related motor vehicle fatalities in Marana since 2008.