The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 24, 2013

Norman police back on the bike

NORMAN — Those aren’t law enforcement impostors riding the sleek, new BMW 1200 motorcycles decked out in official Norman Police Department decals, lights, radar and cargo boxes. They’re for real. Just push your speed on Highway 9 to 75 in front of them to find out for yourself. NPD restarted its motorcycle patrol this spring.

Sgt. Tim Smith and Officer Brandon Wansick will take to the streets in coming weeks. The motorcycles, costing about $35,000 each when outfitted with police gear, arrived earlier this month. Wasnick has already started his shifts on the bike. Smith is completing his community service duties and trade his desk for two wheels soon.

Moore, Edmond, Yukon, Highway Patrol, Lawton and Oklahoma City have operated motorcycle units for many years. The two Norman officers went through 10 days of training in Texas and have been preparing to begin their duties here.

“This has been a dream of mine for a long time,” says Smith, a Norman officer since 1995 and a sheriff’s deputy before that. He thought he’d retire at his desk job. Now, he’s re-energized by the motorcycle unit.

“I’ve always ridden motorcycles but not for work,” he said, noting the motorcycle unit stopped after he arrived. He held out hope it would restart before he retired.

n n n

Retired Norman officer Jim Henry was one of the last officers to ride with NPD. He’s a second generation motorcycle officer. His dad, John Henry, rode for NPD in the 1950s.

“It was wonderful. Motorcycles are great. I wrote 11 tickets in less than an hour one morning,” he said.

“You can sit on the side of the road and not be seen. They should have never stopped it.”

Jim Henry rode the big Kawasaki KZ 1000P motorcycle while his dad’s generation rode Harley Davidsons. The police stored the motorcycles overnight in his family’s garage. Officers would arrive every morning and unlock the garage to start their shifts.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014

  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Protect your home from wildfires

    To most people, fuel is what you put into your gas tank. To firefighters, it means something altogether different. To people who make a living putting out fires, fuel is that material that feeds wildfires — and there is an abundance of it ...

    April 12, 2014

  • League of Women Voters meeting

    Editor, The Transcript: On Saturday, May 10, the Norman League of Women Voters will hold its annual meeting at the Memorial Presbyterian Church, 601 24th Ave. SW, Norman, OK, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm....

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Why Comcast-Time Warner deal makes sense

    Say this about the deal announced Thursday for Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable: It’s big. Big price tag of $45 billion. Big combined subscriber base of 30 million households. And big risk of a veto from government antitrust regulators....

    April 12, 2014

  • Solid evidence within ice record

    In his November 10 Letter, Gary Reynolds misstated information in the October 27 op-ed by Catherine Hobbs, “New report says global warming is “unequivocal.” Mr. Reynolds incorrectly stated that Dr. Hobbs cited evidence from the 2007 UN ...

    April 12, 2014