Jun 21, 2012 2:17 AM
ORO VALLEY - While FBI stats show violent crimes are decreasing in the major cities, the smaller ones are seeing an increase. Still, Oro Valley is the exception. Its police department wants to keep it that way.
The Tucson suburb is one of the first cities in Arizona to outfit motorcycle officers with rifles, they say it's an extra measure to keep the public safe.
Sgt. Matt Horetski says, "Having these rifles in the field deployed and the public knowing we have this tool available or more importantly the criminal knowing we have this tool available will hopefully be a deterrent."
Sgt. Horetski a 12 year veteran has been on motors for five years. The rifle rack has been on the bikes for the last year and a half. There were two instances where he removed it from the bike but didn't fire it.
Motor officers go thru rigorous training to become a motor cop. They've combined the training to include the rifles. The rifle rack is barely noticeable Sgt. Horetski says it's designed that way. "The location that it's mounted on is by design it does blend in with the motorcycles so that keeps away from the dominating appearance of having a rifle exposed."
The rifles are AR-15's and eight of the motorcycles have the racks. "Its designed so that the magazine cannot be removed from the weapon and the weapon cannot be cycled while it's in the rifle rack."
It cost nearly $5,000 to outfit the motorcycles. It was the criminals who picked up the tab. The department used seized monies aiming to hit the bad guys where it hurts, in their wallet.
Pima County Sheriff's department has rifle racks on their motorcycles, Tucson Police has some of their motorcycles outfitted with rifle racks, Arizona Department of Public Safety tells News 4 they are planning to outfit their motorcycles. U of A police does not have them.