By Matthew Keck —
University of Louisville students can expect to see two University of Louisville Police Department (ULPD) motorcycles around campus from now on. ULPD is testing out a new motorcycle program to enhance campus safety.
“The University of Louisville Police Department has a consistent and proactive goal of innovation and enhancing safety across campus,” said ULPD chief Gary Lewis. “The addition of the Motorcycle Unit will enhance our ability to perform our mission. Motorcycles are cost and energy efficient, display effective mobility techniques, strengthen and builds [sic] upon public and community relations while improving campus coverage response times.”
Harley Davidson is leasing the motorcycles to ULPD for this program. The program’s cost will be $30,000 over the next three years said Lewis. Lewis also said this will be $10,000 cheaper than buying a new Ford SUV police cruiser.
Due to their smaller nature, these motorcycles will be used to monitor high traffic areas. “By their nature, high traffic areas can make it difficult to position a patrol car. Motorcycles, however, can be more effective at these locations due to the ease with which they can be positioned,” said Lewis. “Motorcycles can also assimilate into traffic for enforcement purposes easier than conventional patrol vehicles.”
ULPD also plans on using the motorcycles to cut down response times and provide more surveillance on campus. “The police motorcycle’s surveillance of the area can be overt to maximize the visible deterrent impact or covert to maximize tactical objectives,” said Lewis.
Lewis hopes this operation can be used in conjunction with educational campaigns and public information around campus. “Some agencies have even used these types of events to roll out new shipments of police motorcycles,” said Lewis. “Agencies can advertise the purchase of the motorcycles and associate them with a specific problem, whether it is red light running, speeding, aggressive driving, or some other traffic problem in that agency’s jurisdiction.”
Three ULPD officers trained for this program: Sgt. Oscar Chavez, Don Gosney and Doug Howard. The program has been in effect as of Nov. 11.
Photo Courtesy of ULPD