The sheriff's department also is using the motorcycle lease program to enhance its law enforcement duties.
By NANCY BAILEY
NORTH LIMA -- This spring residents of Beaver Township will be seeing members of their police department tooling around on a brand new Electra Glide Harley-Davidson motorcycle at little cost to taxpayers.
The department is taking advantage of an offer by Harley-Davidson of Youngstown to lease the bike for $1 a year.
The only cost to the township would be the purchase and installation of emergency equipment.
The lights and siren cost $1,150 and the installation will be $379. In the fall, the motorcycle would be turned back to the motorcycle dealership and another new bike would be issued the following spring.
The same emergency equipment would be used and only the installation costs would be incurred annually in addition to the $1. Lt. Ken Frost said there are plans to lease the bikes until at least 2006.
Last year the Mahoning County Sheriff's Department leased five motorcycles through the program and, Frost said, the county will be getting nine new bikes next month.
How it works: "These motorcycles are not titled and when they are returned to the dealer at the end of the season, they can be sold as 'new' motorcycles with full warranties at a discounted price, thus making it possible for Harley-Davidson of Youngstown to get additional motorcycles above their allocation," Frost explained.
Frost said there is no need to equip the bikes with radios because the officers can use portable radios with a lapel microphone. A hand-held radar unit will be used for speed enforcement.
Uses: Police Chief Carl Frost said that in addition to regular patrols, he sees the motorcycle being used for community policing efforts.
"We will take it to the schools for the [Drug Abuse Resistance Education] program and make calls to our senior citizens as part of our [Cops Looking After Special Seniors] program," he said.
The chief added, "This will be something that will draw peoples' attention and provide them with an opportunity to strike up a conversation with officers and build a relationship with the police department."
The officers using the motorcycle will take specialized police training for motorcycle patrol work.
They will use their clothing allowance money to buy special riding pants, boots and helmets, the chief said.