West Hollywood sheriff's deputies, who three years ago helped introduce bicycle patrols to Southern California as a crime-fighting tool, will soon be on the street with another form of two-wheeled transportation--the motorcycle.
After two years of bureaucratic haggling, the West Hollywood sheriff's station has acquired four new Kawasaki 1000 motorcycles. The motorcycles will be put into service before the end of the year.
West Hollywood, with its small area, active night life and dense population, is an ideal community for a motorcycle detail, according to Capt. Clarence R. Chapman, commander of the West Hollywood station. The Sheriff's Department is under contract with West Hollywood to provide the city's law enforcement services.
Lt. Lee Jordan said the motorcycles will expedite the deployment of deputies in urgent situations. "Many times, when an emergency call goes out requiring additional officers, it will take several minutes for a patrol car to provide that assistance," Jordan said. "When traffic stops, it stops, but a motorcycle can still go through."
Until recently, the Sheriff's Department did not generally provide motorcycle patrols in its contract cities. "We've asked for (a motorcycle detail) in the past," West Hollywood City Manager Paul Brotzman said, "but there was limited availability."
"We never had them in place before because there was no mechanism to buy them," Capt. Chapman added.
Chapman said the four $15,000 motorcycles will not cost the city anything because they will replace four patrol cars that are provided as part of the department's contract with the community.