TUCKAHOE, N.Y. In an effort to better serve the community, the Tuckahoe Police Department unveiled its new motorcycle patrol Friday.
The four-man patrol, led by Sgt. David Bank, will help the department enforce traffic laws and reduce response time, and will be used for formal occasions such as police escorts and parades. The motorcycles will also allow officers to better interact with the community theyre tasked with protecting, Police Chief John Costanzo said.
Costanzo said the motorcycles will be an excellent tool for community policing.
The motorcycles add a dimension that we dont have in cars, he said. We now have the ability to get to more places, and we can get there quicker. (Motorcycles) are a magnet for young people, and anything that can help break that barrier is a home run for us.
By using motorcycles, officers will have greater access to more locations such as parks and will able to respond quicker to any location, Bank said.
The motorcycles are going to be invaluable for traffic enforcement. Well have greater speed and flexibility in getting to locations, he said. Well be able to maneuver narrow spaces, and what might take a car 10 minutes to get to in traffic, we can be at in 30 seconds.
The unit, which comprises four officers and two motorcycles, was funded by a $60,000 grant from the Generoso Pope Foundation. Motorcycles, which use less gas and are cheaper to maintain, should save both residents and the department money.
David Anthony Pope, the president of the Generoso Pope Foundation, said motorcycles used to be an important tool for the police in Tuckahoe more than 70 years ago.
We have a picture of a motorcycle patrol from the 1930s, and we wanted to resurrect the past a little bit, he said. With two less cars on the road, there will be less wear and tear on the vehicles, which will mean it will cost taxpayers a lot less.
Costanzo said, Motorcycles were the first means of mechanized control in Tuckahoe and much of this area. Best we can tell, they were phased out, but now were bringing them back.
The four-man unit was trained in a two-week course hosted by the Yonkers Police Department, where the officers were taught the ins and outs of motorcycle patrolling. The officers have long riding histories and were already familiar with motorcycles.
There was an application process based on past performance and productivity, Costanzo said. They are four outstanding officers who are heavily involved with the department and community.
Bank called the training the best school he had ever attended.
The amount of information we learned and the skills we developed were fantastic, he said. The way we were treated was very professional, and we learned a ton.
The custom Harley-Davidson Electra Glides feature a police radio, lights and sirens and a backup power source. The custom patch for the patrol unit is a Latin phrase that translates to: All men die, but not all men live.
It boils down to one word: gratitude, Bank said. If youre lucky enough to ride a motorcycle and be a police officer, youre fully experiencing living.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.