SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Two Kawasaki Concours 14 motorcycles had been underused since their 2010 purchase, so a pair of police officers who ride in their personal lives are using them for traffic enforcement.
Senior Patrol Officer James Bogan and Patrol Officer McCrary Johnstone will operate the motorcycles, which are painted black with Spartanburg Police Department decals and feature lights, sirens and radar, as well as traction control and anti-lock brakes.
Their first shift switching from a uniform patrol cruiser to a motorcycle began Monday. Officers must complete an 80-hour training course to ride a police motorcycle.
“In a car, you look for violators, but on a motorcycle the amount of focus put on your own safety at least doubles,” Bogan told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.
Capt. Art Littlejohn, department spokesman and commander of the patrol division, told the Herald-Journal that the officers, who are also assigned to the department's K-9 and tactical unit, will be tasked with enforcing speeding motorists in designated school zones and checking for proper seat belt use. Motorcycles sit higher than cars, so it will be easier for officers to see seat belt violations.
They also will be assigned to special events such as parades and festivals, Littlejohn said.
Plans are in the works for mountable body cameras, and Littlejohn said the motorcycle officers will wear them either on their shirts or riding helmets.