Tempe PD takes aggressive step to improve safety for motorcycle cops

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by Mike Watkiss

Bio | Email | Follow: @mikewatkiss3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on February 18, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 18 at 2:21 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. --  Being a cop is an inherently dangerous job.  Doing that job on the back of a high-powered motorcycle just makes the risks greater. 

Over the years a number of Valley motor officers have been killed in the line of duty. Still more have been seriously injured. 

Now the Tempe Police Department taking the aggressive step of mandating that their nearly two dozen motor officer take a rider refresher course every month -- sort of a crash course in crash avoidance.

"Safety is the number one priority," said Tempe Police Sgt. Steve Carbajal, himself a motorcycle veteran,  as he surveyed a large open parking lot area covered with orange cones. "We're teaching people out here worst-case scenarios."

The course cones were set up in tight, intricate patterns that the dozen or so officers on hand had to navigate and negotiate on their rocket-like bikes.

I got to tag along for the ride and learned that it's much harder than they make it look.

The training staff comes up with new scenarios every month.

Carbajal says the monthly classes make the officers safer and better able to serve the public.

"We need to keep everybody's skills sharp because you never know what's going to happen out there," he explained.

The Tempe Police Department has even opened up the training sessions to other agencies.

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