Law enforcement officials are meeting for a week long course that will help them train to patrol on a motorcycle. Participants from Greenville County Sheriff's Office, Highway Patrol and the Spartanburg County Sheriff's office learned how to maneuver around and in between a challenging, 11 course, cone configuration Wednesday.
Public Safety officials said there are seven bikes and not enough officers trained to ride them, so the course will allow more patrol officers to ride behind the handlebars.
Officials said the bikes can make their way through traffic easier and faster if someone is stuck in traffic or in an accident. Captain Art Littlejohn of Spartanburg Public Safety also said the bikes allow officers to help battle car break-ins because they can help patrol parking decks and spaces downtown.
Littlejohn explained the bikes make officers more approachable and help develop a better relationship with the community.
"You can get through traffic a lot better. We use them for escorts and parades and the other thing is community relationship. Normally if you see a police car behind you, you won't stop and talk to an officer but if you're on a motorcycle, throughout the day people normally speak to the officers and even ask them about the bike," said Littlejohn.
Some officers training said the course is extremely challenging, even for experienced riders.
I've rode motorcycles all my life, dirt bikes, street bikes," said Officer James Bogan. "No one ever teaches you what they do out here," he said.
Bogan described intricate turns and circles he had to do in a limited amount of time.
"It teaches you what you can and can't do and if you're going to a wreck scene and you need to go around vehicles in the road way, it lets you get through all of that," said Bogan.
Captain Littlejohn explained how the course is beneficial for riders so they can make mistakes before they go out on patrol.
"Out here, if you hit a cone it's just a cone but if you hit something in the roadway, it's a car or a person," said Littlejohn.
The officers will also complete a night course, a written test and a session at the gun range to learn to shoot from a motorcycle.