Russellville PD works with FPD toward motorcycle certification
Melissa Cason, Franklin County Times
Russellville is one step closer to having an experienced motorcycle officer on the streets to patrol traffic.
Two officers from the Florence Police Department were busy helping Russellville Police Officer Scott King with his 40-hour certification training on motorcycle maneuvers, Police Chief Chris Hargett said.
"This is not a requirement…this is a certification for safety reasons," Hargett said.
He added that the liability was too great to have an officer on a motorcycle that is not well-trained in issues on safety.
The officers who provided this week's training have many years as motorcycle patrolmen under their belts. Officer Fletcher Anderson, certified instructor, has been a motorcycle officer for 19 years and his assistant, Officer Lance Smith, has patrolled on two wheels for 16 years.
"They [Florence Police Department] are more than supportive to help us get started," Hargett said. "It says a lot for the Florence Police Department to help us with training at no charge to us."
Hargett said the motorcycle unit is an important addition to the department because it will allow traffic to be closely monitored, and motorcycle officers are more cost effective than car patrol.
"It cost less to maintain the motorcycle than it does a car," Hargett said.
King has been with the Russellville Police Department for two years, but has experience as a motorcycle officer with the Montgomery Police Department. Although, it's been 15 years since he's patrolled traffic from a bike, he is excited about getting started.
"Traffic is what I love to do," he said. "Everybody's got what they call their niche and traffic [patrol] is mine."
Russellville Police Department hopes to expand with another motorcycle patrolman in the upcoming fiscal year, if the budget allows, Hargett said.