Burlington Police Chief Browne was before the Select Board seeking their support for bringing a motorcycle back to the police department. Chief Browne was mainly looking for the Select Board’s backing before looking too deeply into the financing of a police motorcycle.
“In my professional view a police motorcycle is going to enhance the professionalism and the community policing of the department,” Chief Browne stated.
Chief Browne spoke on the community policing and law enforcement aspects of adding a motorcycle to the force. A motorcycle can go out on patrol just like a cruiser, however its response time would be quicker, especially in traffic congestion. Motorcycles can maneuver where a typical cruiser can not, like grass fields and sidewalks in emergency situations. They’re also practical for traffic enforcement as well as dignitary protection and funeral escorts. The motorcycle can not be used once it snows.
Chief Browne pointed out that motorcycle police are popular and provide safety at community events like Celebrate Burlington, the little league parade, the Diwali celebration, Truck Day and the 4th of July Parade.
Select Board member and retired BPD Officer Jim Tigges was assigned to the BPD motorcycle for eight years and spoke on his experience.
“I’ve used it for surveillance, it’s a lot easier to be covert, it’s easier to hide,” Tigges also talked about the maneuverability factor. “I’ve had to respond the reservoir, I’ve driven to medical calls at the ball fields and responded to an incident at the high tension wires”.
Tigges noted a highlight of his motorcycle policing was escorting Santa Claus to the Town Common for the annual tree lighting.
The Select Board voted 5-0 to support the police motorcycle program.