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Police motorcycle unit revs into action after absence

By Ismael Perez
May 18, 2017 at 8:57 p.m.
Updated May 19, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Branden Allen, a member of the police department's  motorcycle unit, sits on the new Harley-Davidson during an unveiling ceremony. "It's just great riding around town," Allen said. "I haven't even made a traffic stop yet, and it's fantastic."

Branden Allen, a member of the police department's motorcycle unit, sits on the new Harley-Davidson during an unveiling ceremony. "It's just great riding around town," Allen said. "I haven't even made a traffic stop yet, and it's fantastic."   Nicolas Galindo for The Victoria Advocate

The Victoria Police Department is rolling out its latest strategy in traffic safety.

Ending a 10-year hiatus, the department unveiled its new motorcycle unit Thursday at the City Hall courtyard.

"I wanted to bring it back because I viewed it as a great tool to serve the community," Victoria Police Chief J.J. Craig said. "The mission would be to use these officers proactively to mediate traffic accidents."

Senior Patrol Officer Branden Allen is the first of two officers selected for the new unit.

Craig said the program will allow the department to be very mobile and cover more ground than what a traditional patrol car unit covers.

Craig said the purchase of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle was made possible because of the Victoria 100 Club, which is designed to help fallen officers, first responders and their families.

The organization takes requests for grants every August from organizations such as the Victoria Police Department, the Victoria County Sheriff's Office and the Victoria Fire Department.

"Sometimes, even though you have a great idea, you have budget constraints," Craig said. "I asked the 100 Club about it, and they were more than open to the concept."

Howard Goode, chairman of the board of the Victoria 100 Club, said the organization is fortunate to have members who want help first responders.

"Officers are constantly keeping our community safe, and we wanted to help in whatever way we can," Goode said.

The Victoria Police Department motorcycle unit is expected to grow over time with more officers and vehicles.

Craig said the new addition to the department will have a significant impact on crime reduction and the number of traffic accidents and fatalities.

"Our organization is excited about it," Craig said. "The results that come with this will be a big benefit to the community."


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