John Teachout a motorcycle officer with the Oro Valley Police Department and instructor at the Pima Regional Motor Academy. Motorcycle
officers can also reach emergencies quickly because of their vehicles' maneuverability, he
said.Teachout said he formed the Pima Regional Motor Academy along with the Pima County Sheriff's Department so officers who want to ride motorcycles could gain the necessary experience.
At the academy, motorcycle officers must go through an extensive five-week training course before they're ready to work any patrols, Teachout
said.They begin on a closed course and then ride with experienced motorcycle riders in a variety of traffic situations. They also learn how to stay hydrated and avoid fatigue, which can be difficult during shifts that can last longer than nine hours and in temperatures that soar above 100 degrees. Right now, Marana has two officers in the final stage of that training, during which they work with active motorcycle officers for a week so they learn what to expect on the job. Once they finish the training, Marana will have three officers ready to go on patrol with the town's motorcycles. Teachout
said motorcycle officers can also provide an important link between the Police Department and the community.They participate in parades and aren't isolated from the community by the glass and steel of a car. While doing patrols in a car, Teachout
never had people come up and ask him a question. Not so when he's
motorcycle. "We're very approachable."