Motorcycle officers with the Bakersfield Police Department are returning.
They expect to have four new bikes patrolling town by December.
The department started phasing out of using motorcycles in 2009, and by 2017 they got rid of the last one due to safety concerns.
Bakersfield Police said in its history there have been eight officer deaths in the line of duty, five were motorcycle officers.
Sgt. Mike Gerridy said since then, the technology on the bikes has improved, so they can make them safer for officers. He also said helmets and safety gear are more advanced.
The department said they want to bring the bikes back because they have noticed an increase in crashes during rush hour and they want to step-up traffic enforcement.
“The motorcycle allows the officer to get in and out of places relatively easier than a patrol car,” Gerridy said.
Gerridy said a motorcycle officer will be be able to respond to an emergency more quickly and this will benefit the community.
The department is looking to get four new bikes, the cost totaling 107,542.
City Council is set to approve the funding on Wednesday. Bakersfield’s Finance Director said the money will come out of the city’s Equipment Fund.
Bakersfield Harley-Davidson got the bid and will be providing the motorcycles. They will be tailoring 2019 Harley-Davidson’s to meet the department’s requirements.
Gerridy said you can expect to see motorcycle officers patrolling starting in December.
He said officer’s will receive more than 100 hours of training before they can use the bikes.
BPD said if the four motorcycles prove to be successful, they plan to expand the program.