Police get revved up for new motorcycle program

POULSBO — Poulsbo police are ready to get their motors running and head out on Highway 305 and Highway 3, though the new motorcycle that the police department will get will likely be used on the area’s narrow streets.

“We get a lot of complaints about residential streets that are really narrow,” Police Chief Al Townsend said. “There’s nowhere to sit with a car or get up and down those streets easily.”

Townsend briefed the City Council on a budget amendment Wednesday that will shift some funds around and make it possible for the department to purchase a motorcycle. The council gave the chief a thumbs up.

“There is nothing more invisible than a motorcycle along the edge of the road,” Councilman Gary Nystul said shortly before voting on the budget amendment.

Townsend said having a motorcycle on the force is a valuable tool to have.

“It’s a program that we didn’t have,” he said. “We had them where I came from in Port Orchard and they were really effective and the community loved them.”

The money for the bike — $29,318.74 — will largely come from impact funds provided by the Suquamish Tribe’s Clearwater Casino Resort. The casino annually provides neighboring jurisdictions money that is aimed at assisting with the traffic impacts of the popular attraction.

With the impact funds coming in, the city’s budget had to be altered Wednesday because of previous city funds that were planned for the motorcycle program. The casino provided $29,000, leaving the city with $318.74 to cover.

The council approved the funding.

“I found the police chief’s remarks to be worth $318.74 and not a penny more,” Councilman Ed Stern joked after Townsend briefed the council on the motorcycle.

The chief noted that he does not yet know when the motorcycle will be purchased and incorporated into the force, but he did say that more than one officer will likely be trained on the bike. Training will be paid for out of the department’s training budget.

It is also not yet known what kind of motorcycle the department will purchase, though Townsend said that he will likely lean toward the bike used by Washington state troopers, a Honda ST1300PA.

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