I have a secret fantasy of owning a motorcycle. A Harley, of course. At my age and with my petite size, I can’t see that happening. When I saw the Harley Davidson Electra Glide tripped out, fully-equipped, police special motorcycle used by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, I wanted to hop on and take off. Of course, I couldn’t. There were several officers standing around (with guns) and besides, I don’t even know how to operate one.
As a member of the Citizens’ Academy, I got to see a demonstration by Deputy Adams on the top level of the parking deck adjacent to the Sheriff’s Office. Adams showed us some cool moves between cones that require concentration and know-how. Six specially trained officers make up the Motor Unit of the Sheriff’s Office under the leadership of Sergeant John England. Each officer receives training and certification in Washington, DC through the United States Park Police. Certification as an instructor is received through Northwestern University. All officers train once a month for eight hours on a course that includes cone and precision riding.
Sergeant Headen explained to us that although they occasionally escort dignitaries, lead funeral processions, and participate in community events, their primary responsibility is service of Writs of Possession for Real Property. In other words, they show up when someone gets evicted from a residence or a business. As you can imagine, no one is happy to see them. They are divided up by zip codes to serve papers throughout the county, about 60 to 80 per day. Last year there were 11,632 evictions. It looks like 2013 may not be much different. So far this year, there have been 9,539. If a resident becomes belligerent or refuses to leave, they have the authority to arrest.
But there is a fun aspect to their job. They participate in competitions with other law enforcement motor units. According to the officers, they have made a good show at competitions in Myrtle Beach and Virginia. In my opinion, they’re all winners and deserve a trophy, or gold medal, or whatever is awarded. The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office Motor Unit is considered one of the premier law enforcement Motor Units in the country. They make us proud.
Hmmm, I still wanna ride that Harley. I have a future fictional writing project that involves a biker gang. I could say the motorcycle ride is for research, couldn’t I? That should fly, right?