Veterans help provide Harleys for police
SOMERSET — Somerset’s borough police force is updating its motorcycle corps thanks to the support of three Somerset veterans organizations. The department is replacing its 2007 Harley-Davidson with two 2-year-old Harley Electra Glide motorcycles.
“The 2007 Harley has been in service since the fall of 2006, and the years, hours of operation and four different operators have taken their toll,” borough police Chief Randy Cox said. “It was apparent that it was time to do something.” The department was approached by Highland Harley-Davidson of Somerset, the vendor for motorcycles used by the University of Pittsburgh Police Department, Cox said. The college trades in two bikes each year.
Cox said Highland representative Jon Vogt offered the Somerset department a generous deal of $9,250 for each motorcycle plus the trade-in of the department’s 2007 Road King. Vogt’s offer came late last year, Cox said, after he had submitted his budget to council. The budget called for purchasing a new cruiser and a newer used car for the detectives, Cox said. The cruiser was purchased, leaving $10,000 in the capital fund to buy the detectives a car. Fortunately, the cruiser they were about to retire was in good condition, so the markings were removed and it was transferred to the detectives, he said.
But the department was still significantly short on the money necessary to buy the two Electra Glides. Then the veterans groups asked if they were any projects they could support. When informed of the shortfall to purchase the motorcycles, the American Legion donated $10,000 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, $2,500, Cox said. Those donations, along with the $10,000 in capital funds, enabled the department to buy the bikes, he said.
The VFW and the Somerset Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America also have paid for three officers to attend a course for operators of police motorcycles. “In the end, once again, it is the community – beyond their tax dollars – that are improving the services of their police department,” Cox said. “Probably what is most striking to me is that the veterans, who have already – and sometimes at a great sacrifice – served the community and the nation, now unsolicited, stepped up to serve once again.”
Somerset Daily American Editorial
6:25 PM EDT, July 24, 2013
Somerset residents will be seeing more borough police officers riding on motorcycles to patrol the community.
The Somerset Borough Police Department plans to purchase two new motorcycles with the help of donations from American Legion Post 181 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 554 in Somerset. Borough police received $10,000 from the American Legion and $2,500 from the Veterans of Foreign Wars at Monday night’s borough council meeting. Police Chief Randy Cox said the used motorcycles will cost an estimated $18,500 from Highland Harley-Davidson in Somerset. He said the difference, $6,000, will come from the borough’s capital reserve fund. The purchase of motorcycles makes sense. The department has four officers qualified to patrol on motorcycles. Bikes give officers more opportunities than patrol cars to be aware of what’s happening around them and they are also more fuel efficient. It’s a good move to keep police working the streets of Somerset. The American Legion and VFW are to be commended for helping to make this service possible.
Copyright © 2013, Daily American
Somerset Borough police to purchase motorcycles with help of donations
Staff writer, @DA_AmberR
9:11 PM EDT, July 23, 2013
The Somerset Borough Police Department plan to purchase two new motorcycles with the help of donations from American Legion Post 181 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 554 in Somerset. Borough police received $10,000 from the American Legion and $2,500 from the Veterans of Foreign Wars at Monday night’s borough council meeting.
Mayor William Meyer said the borough has four officers trained and ready for motorcycle patrol. “We can’t begin to explain how excited we are,” Meyer said during the council meeting Monday. Police Chief Randy Cox said the motorcycles will cost an estimated $18,500. He said the difference, $6,000, will come from the borough’s capital reserve fund. This money was originally set aside to purchase a newer car for the detectives, but the cruiser which was to be retired is in such good shape it became possible to unmark it and reassign it to the detectives, representing a savings of $10,000.00
The motorcycles will be purchased from Highland Harley-Davidson of Somerset. Cox said the motorcycles are used, but in good condition. He said that instead of miles, a motorcycle’s use is measured in how many hours it has been ridden. “They’re very well-maintained and low-hour motorcycles,” Cox said. He plans to trade in the department’s old motorcycle as well. Councilman Scott Walker agreed with the idea of purchasing the motorcycle, saying they would basically pay for themselves through gas savings. Council members approved using capital reserve funds to make the purchase on Monday. Cox said the amount of gas used by the motorcycles is considerably less than that used by a police cruiser. “By my estimations, you can run the motorcycle for two weeks for the amount of gas it takes to run a cruiser for one shift,” he said. Cox said the motorcycles should be put into service later this year.
The American Legion Post 181 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 554 made donations to Somerset Borough for the purchase of police motorcycles. The donations, totaling $12,500, were presented during the Somerset Borough Council meeting on Monday. Pictured with the legion members are: Carl Brown, legion commander; Vern Miller, legion board member; Jordan Shaulis, borough police officer; Robert Becker, legion member; and Mayor William Meyer. (Staff photo by Amber Rosado / July 23, 2013)