The Tomball Police Department recently purchased two new motorcycles for traffic enforcement purposes, using funds provided by fines from the city's red light cameras.
"We funded these via the photo red light funds because (the motorcycles) primary focus will be traffic safety," said Tomball Police Chief Robert Hauck.
Hauck said that motorcycles can play a key role in law enforcement.
"My experience from when I was in Los Angeles was that when it comes to traffic safety, enforcement and also at special events, they are invaluable tools," he said.
Hauck asked two of his officers that regularly ride motorcycles during their time off to head up the program. Tomball police officer Craig Swinghammer and Sgt. Jeff Williams started by looking at the various motorcycle manufacturers. They ride together during their down time.
"When we first started looking we were both a bit biased because we both ride Honda's," Williams said. "We put together a list of criteria and what we started seeing was that, especially when it comes to safety features that Victory was above and beyond anyone else."
"We had to look at what the best bike for us would be when it came to cost, maintenance, safety, the conditions in Tomball and Victory won hands down," Hauck added. "Plus the fact that it is a purely American made motorcycle is a nice bonus."
The bikes come equipped with the same equipment found in the Tomball squad cars, including radios, on-bike video, lights, sirens, radar, a modified version of the department's in-car computers and even ticket printers.
Hauck said that the bikes also come with a separate electrical system for all that equipment.
"That will save thousands of dollars in the up-fit of a replacement bike in the future," he said.
Safety was also a key issue.
They bikes have front and rear crash bars that will keep the bike from laying down flat, a steel skid plate underneath and 5-inches of rear suspension.
Once the trio decided on Victory, Swinghammer and Williams headed to Arizona to go through a special course for law enforcement members put on by Victory.
The team at Victory put them through the motions on how to take corners, how to pursue other vehicles, and even how to descend stairs on the bike. They even taught them how to perform all basic maintenance requirements, which will save the department money as well.
"It's not often that you get to start on a project like this, see it come to fruition and get all that you hope for out of it," Williams said. "That, so far, has been the most rewarding thing of this.