Three officers take two week motorcycle course

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Three Picayune Police Department motorcycle officers are undergoing two weeks of extensive motorcycle training to make their jobs easier and, most of all, safer.

The three officers, Sgt. Mike Petre, Ptl. James Bolton and PFC. John Nix, all have at least some prior motorcycle riding experience, but the kind of training they are receiving may just save their lives.

During the two weeks of training provided by their own commanding officer, Lt. Chad Dorn, they will receive training that will keep them safe and improve their motorcycle handling skills. Dorn attended the Northwest Harley Davidson Institute where he received certification as an instructor. At the end of the training, the officers will receive a certificate.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“With me being a graduate from Northwest Harley Davidson Instructor class, the certificate they get from this should be recognized nationwide,” Dorn said.

Dorn received approval from the City of Picayune to use a parking lot at Friendship park to conduct the training. He put up cones for the officers to practice riding through and around. All of the courses he set up were designed to simulate situations that the officers might encounter as they patrol the streets of Picayune.

Training will cover a number of fast and slow moving maneuvers that will improve each officer’s handling capabilities and allow the three to effectively evade potential hazards. By Friday, officers already displayed improved handing in just a week’s worth of training. The officers were proficient in practicing the four-way intersection, offset cone weave, slow-cone weave, 360 keyhole and the 90 degree pullout.

In the second week, the officers will be practicing brake and escape, 180 decelerate, evasive, and the 30 mile per hour cone weave maneuvers, Dorn said. Those will simulate emergency situations that officers might encounter at high speeds.

The high speed maneuvers also will help officers avoid accidents, such as the brake and escape, which simulates an instance where a vehicle has stopped suddenly and the officer needs to make an evasive maneuver.

Dorn said he also will show the officers how to hit an obstacle the right way when evasion is not an option, such as a 4×4 piece of wood that has fallen off a truck into the motorcycle’s path, and the officers will practice on a 2×4 to start that portion of the training.

The officers will tested and Dorn will give them a grade at the end of the training.