The Upper Arlington Police Department is stepping up its enforcement with a new vehicle.

The Upper Arlington Police Department is stepping up its enforcement with a new vehicle.

The department recently unveiled a new motorcycle unit to help patrol the streets of UA.

Officer Heather Galli, spokesperson for the department, said three members of the department are certified to use the Harley Davidson. Sgt. Mike Nagode and officers Brian Daron and Brian Meyer completed a specialized two-week training in the spring with the Columbus Division of Police.

Upper Arlington Chief of Police Brian Quinn said the three officers were chosen based on certain pre-certification requirements.

Though the officers completed the training a while ago, the unit just recently has been rolled out for street patrol.

"Since July, it been used for more and more traffic control," Galli said. "They came to Safety Town at the beginning of July, and it was in the Fourth of July parade."

She said the new motorcycle, which was paid for using money from the department's participation in the U.S. Department of Justice's asset forfeiture program, has been outfitted with the latest equipment, including a headset for hands-free radio operation.

Galli said the new unit allows the department to patrol in a different way.

Since the vehicle is smaller, it is easier to maneuver.

"The motorcycle offers a unique resource, unlike a regular patrol vehicle," Galli said. "It's easier to maneuver in traffic, and it's used a lot for community events."

Like Galli, Quinn said the motorcycle provides an alternative to the traditional police cruiser.

"It's a different means of getting into the neighborhoods and out on the streets, he said. "They also hit the school zones and some of the more congested areas."

Galli said the motorcycle also can be safer for officers to park it on the side of the road. "It works well for traffic needs, getting in where a cruiser wouldn't necessarily be safe to be parked on the side of the roadway."

She also said it increases the accessibility of police officers.

"It also is great, because an officer isn't necessary approachable with the car windows rolled up," Galli said. "You have the ability to walk up and approach an officer without having a barrier."

Chief Quinn said he and his officers first considered a motorcycle at the beginning of the year when gas prices were close to $4 per gallon.

"We were looking at alternative means of transportation for the fleet," he said.

The department currently leases the Harley for $3,000 per year, which is entirely paid for through the asset forfeiture program.

gmartineau@thisweeknews.com

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