Police officers honing their riding skills in Sudbury

Article Sidebar

Article content

Police motorcycle officers from across North America have gathered in Sudbury this week to put their skills to the test.

For 21 years, the Great Lakes Police Motorcycle Training Seminar has been an opportunity for officers to come together to share their skills and knowledge and train to safely operate police motorcycles. This is the first year the four-day event has been hosted in Sudbury.

Constables Andrew Hinds and Jacques Roberge of the Greater Sudbury Police Traffic Management Unit are the co-chairs of this year’s event.

Hinds says the event was born out of a need for standardized training for motor officers in the province.

“Unfortunately, there are 32 officers throughout the years who ride motorcycles who have died in the line of duty. In order to prevent injuries, prevent collisions and ultimately reduce fatal collisions, they recognized that we had to have some kind of police-related training.”

Advertisement

Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content continued

The training provided at the seminar addresses challenges specific to police duties, while also focusing on honing riding skills through seminars and riding courses.

“It’s tough enough as it is to be a motorcycle operator; it already comes with its own inherent dangers,” Hinds says. “But when you now add in the added responsibility of police duties, it increases that danger.”

Roberge says the event is also an opportunity to connect with other officers from across the country and learn from each other.

“It creates a fellowship, right? Not everybody in a given police service has the opportunity to ride on motors. With that, you become a fellowship of different officers. You get to talk to them about their experiences. Everybody’s been very helpful here.”

This year’s event is also unique for community members.

“Out of these 21 years, it’s the first time civilians are able to attend and we’ve had a great response in terms of almost 45 civilian participants from Canada and the United States,” says Roberge.

The event is also striving to give back to the community, by raising money for the Ontario Police Memorial Fund and supporting local charities. Admission to the event is free, but spectators are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to “Fill a Ford” with items that will be donated to the Sudbury Food Bank.

Michael Vagnini, chair of the Greater Sudbury Police Services Board, says the event promises to be entertaining.

Advertisement

Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content continued

“This event for our city, this is a flagship event. This is the first time it’s ever been here and I’ve got to tell you, if you want to draw an analogy, these police officers on these bikes, it’s just like the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the World Series, and the Superbowl all combined. The talent, the skill that they have, is second to none.”

The Great Lakes Police Motorcycle Training Seminar concludes Saturday with riders putting their skills to the test with riding courses and competitions. Catch the event in the parking lot of the Walmart in the South End, 2416 Long Lake Road, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @Mia_RJensen