Deputies head for hog heaven on new Harleys
The specially equipped bikes will be exchanged for new ones at year's end.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- There's a hog at the Mahoning County Sheriff's Office, and more are coming.
They're not barnyard hogs, they're Harley hogs.
The department is leasing five Harley-Davidson Road King motorcycles from Harley-Davidson of Youngstown for $1 each.
"That offer is too good to turn down," said Sheriff Randall Wellington.
Owner Tom Wronkovich said the local Harley-Davidson dealership created the lease program especially for the sheriff's department.
Benefits both: "It's good exposure for them and it's good exposure for us," he said. At the end of a year, the bikes are turned in and new ones issued for another $1 and the used bikes are sold, he said.
The Road King is "the bike of choice" for police departments that use motorcycles and for recreational riders, Wronkovich said.
Major Michael Budd said one bike is already on the road. The others should be delivered by the end of the month, Wronkovich said.
Good use: Wellington said they'll come in handy during times of heavy traffic congestion such as the Canfield Fair and the Hot Rod Super Nationals in Boardman.
"With these cycles we can get around easier and help break up some of those traffic jams," he said.
Budd said five deputies have been trained for riding the bikes and will use them during the summer for speed-control enforcement. Besides police lights, a siren, windshield and sheriff's department markings, the black bikes will be equipped with radar guns, he said.
Fully equipped, the cycles are worth about $23,000, Budd said.
They will also be used for parades and for escort details, Wellington said.
Cruisers coming: Budd said the department also plans to purchase seven used Ohio State Highway Patrol cruisers through the state's surplus purchasing program. The cars will be assigned to patrol in the city.
He said $49,000 has been set aside to pay for the cars, which will be used to help city police boost patrols on city streets.
"We're hoping to put a few cars on the South Side," Budd said.