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Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Motorcycle officers improve skills through competition

Photo: Before competition officially begins, a rider practices driving through one of the motorcycle challenge courses. /Photo by Windy Lopez

Approximately 80 motorcycle officers from around the Metroplex and from as far away as Corpus Christi and Amarillo participated in the 2nd Annual Coppell/Grapevine Police Motorcycle Skills Competition. The event was presented in Coppell’s Wagon Wheel Park, March 12-14.

Though admission was free and the public was encouraged to attend, the cool, rainy weather kept many people away from this year’s festivities.

“The rodeo competition is used as a training tool for the different riders,” Coppell Deputy Chief James Cook said. “Most of the cities have a requirement that motor officers train so many hours a month. Some agencies will send their officers to the competition as their monthly training.”

Chief Cook does not ride motorcycles, however, he appreciates the skill the riders demonstrate when negotiating the courses.

“They do some amazing things on two wheels,” Cook said. “I am amazed at the quality of people who are riding and the dedication they have to their craft.”

Officer Terrence Nunn with the Bryan Police Department, won second place in the novice division.

“Everything that we apply here, we can apply out on the street to help us be safer,” Nunn said. “This training gives us options. If someone pulls out in front of you on the street, you know you can safely negotiate around the vehicle. The tight confines of the courses here are nothing like the street out there. The street is wide open, so that you have more room to maneuver. You know if you can do it in the small confines of the course, you do it out on the street.

“The rain kind of slowed people down little bit, but we don’t work in perfect weather out on the streets, so that was helpful to us to,” he said.

“The competition was outstanding,” said Officer Mark Dahl with the Irving Police Department. “These rodeos are excellent training. The main thing is it is training us for the most demanding time when there’s a high stress level, and there’s a crowd and pressure. I’m glad our department allows us come out here do this.”

All proceeds raised from the motorcycle competition will support the following charities: MetroplexCOPS, Remember the Fallen Heroes, Grapevine Shield, North Texas Shield Foundation and Team Texas.