WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — In a move designed to get the public’s attention and encourage thinking about traffic safety, the Woonsocket Police Department announced Tuesday it’s putting two new motorcycles on the road with officers.
“Unfortunately last year we had a couple pedestrian fatal accidents, so this is just another tool we’re going to use with enforcement,” Chief Thomas Oates said Tuesday.
Motorcycles also carry a high profile, he added: “They’re also seen as a community policing tool because the nature of the motorcycle draws the attention of people, especially children.”
Oates said he observed the benefits of using motorcycles when he worked previously with Providence Police. Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt also noted they place officers closer to the public, making them more accessible and open for dialogue.
So far, two Harley Davidson Electraglide motorcycles are being leased by the department at an annual cost of $5,000 per motorcycle. Two officers are currently able to ride motorcycles, the chief said, and he hopes to expand that to more officers.
Woonsocket’s motorcycle officers will track distracted and aggressive drivers, speeding, and seat belt and crosswalk use.