RCMP are asking the public to help them train new motorcycle-riding traffic officers in the Central Okanagan.
A group of 14 are currently on the road in Kelowna completing a training course as part of the Motor Officer Program and the officers will be pulling over motorists to practice traffic stops, according to Insp. Dale Somerville from the Castlegar RCMP.
“We are going to be everywhere,” Insp. Somerville said. “What we are doing is conducting training with the public: a lot of officer-violator contact, a lot of stopping of cars.”
There will be more than the average police investigations involving these trainees on motorbikes, he said.
“Typically, most people get a little nervous when they’re stopped by police,” he said. “So please, I would just put out to the public out there, you have nothing to worry about.”
“We’re just doing some training. Please pull over to the side of the road when it’s safe to do such. We’ll have a quick chat. We’ll thank you for your time and send you on your way.”
A group of 19 officers from B.C. and Alberta RCMP detachments arrived in Kelowna last week for the two-week course.
Five have left the course due to injury or an inability to pass initial testing, Insp. Somerville said.
Officers who arrived for training must already have passed their Class 6 motorcycle licencing and proved they can sufficiently operate a motorbike.
The first week involved track-training, the second week, currently underway, involves street experience.
“It’s quite a big deal to see how much these motorcycles can actually maneuver and go through the courses and just be put through to the breaking point,” Cst. David Gauthier said. “It’s quite amazing to see how these motorcycles can actually move.”
Trainees arrived in Kelowna with motorcycles owned by the communities where they serve.
Kelowna RCMP, Central Okanagan Traffic Services and North Okanagan RCMP each have two motorcycles while there is one stationed in the South Okanagan, according to Insp. Somerville.