Metro Police Encourage Others To Watch Out For Motorcycle Officers

Thursday, March 12th 2015, 7:15 pm
By: News 9

The state's largest police want you to help them keep their officers safe and out of harm's way, especially those who are patrolling the streets on motorcycles.

They say many times people forget to slow down and move over a lane when they see an officer who has pulled someone over on the shoulder of the road.

Oklahoma City police tell us whenever the motorcycle officers with the Solo Motor patrol pull someone over on the side of the road they are facing cars that are whipping past them - often at speeds of more than 60 miles an hour.

These officers really put their lives on the line whenever they are out on patrol; Completely exposed and vulnerable to several dangers when they are just trying to pull someone over to issue a warning or a ticket.

“It's extremely dangerous you have such a high volume of traffic,” said MSgt. Freddy Herrera with the motor patrol unit. “I have had several times where folks have not seen us at the last minute - because they are too close to another car - and almost side swipe us or the vehicle we have stopped ! And I've had to stop them and ask them what was going on, did you not see us?”

Master Sgt. Herrera knows just how real the danger is.

He was actually hit once!

“I was actually up at the car issuing a citation when another vehicle lost control and not only struck the car I was issuing a citation to - but struck the back of me,” said Herrera. “It just raised my awareness of how dangerous it actually is to work out here.”

These officers say when they are on the side of the road and highway they can feel the ground shake, and the wind whip past them. Sometimes their bikes actually move from the fast moving traffic. And at the end of the day all these guys want is to just go home to their families.

“Absolutely that's the most important thing,” said Herrera. “To do your job safely, but to go home at the end of the day.”

MSgt. Herrera says if you can't give them an entire lane of traffic when they are pulling someone over, at least slow down and proceed with caution. And they will always try to pull a traffic violator over to a safe spot, either on a wide shoulder or on a side street if at all possible to prevent possible collisions.

The lieutenant over the motorcycle division says they usually see only one collision or so per year. But OCPD did have one of their officers, Sgt. Robert Douglas who was critically injured when a driver of a car hit him and his motorcycle while they were out on the road driving through an intersection.

Douglas was then thrown in the path of an oncoming truck. According to the officer down memorial page, Douglas succumbed to injuries sustained in the motorcycle accident five years later. He remained in a coma during those years. He is survived by his wife and a young son.

Visit Sgt. Robert Douglas' Memorial Page.