The Salt River Police Department (SRPD) recently graduated two police officers from the Phoenix Police Department’s Motor Officer Training School. These two SRPD officers have officially been assigned to the SRPD Traffic Enforcement Bureau (TEB), after three former SRPD TEB members were promoted to the position of police sergeant.
Off. G. Clark Bury and Off. Francisco Calzadillas, who worked at other assignments within the SRPD, applied for and then tested along with other SRPD police officers in a competitive selection process to attend the Phoenix Police Department’s Motor Officer Training School. After their successful selection, Bury and Calzadillas attended a rigorous three-week instruction course that included classroom work, tests and training on motorcycle operation and maintenance; roadway, street and freeway driving; traffic enforcement driving; safe motorcycle handling operations; and overcoming road hazards.
“The school is designed to take [police officers] with no [motor] experience and in three weeks turn them into professional motorcycle riders,” said SRPD Sgt. Chris Morin, a certified motorcycle operator instructor and former member of the TEB. “Their days are filled with drills and seemingly never-ending cone patterns. Each obstacle is more challenging than the last. At the end of the first two weeks, they are required to participate in a driving-skill test which is timed and penalties are tallied. Too many penalties and they fail. Too much time and they fail. There are no exceptions.”
If the student officers safely and successfully pass their driving tests, they spend a third week driving on roadways, streets and freeways among the general public. Officers are instructed where motorcycles can be operated, including pedestrian bridges, up and down stairs, desert landscape and sand washes.
Even after receiving their Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) graduation certificates, Bury and Calzadillas had to safely and successfully pass an additional course of instruction by members of the TEB. At the end of the entire four-week process, they participated in a special Motor Wings Insignia Pinning Ceremony, in which SRPD Chief Karl Auerbach presented them with their “Motorcycle Wings.”
“It is such a special honor on behalf of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Salt River Police Department to officially recognize both Off. Bury and Off. Calzadillas for this achievement,” said Auerbach. As guardians of the people, they have the duty and responsibility to educate, enforce, serve and protect the Community on the 132 miles of roadway within the Community and the 300,000 vehicles that travel within our Community every day. Both of these officers are dedicated and loyal professionals who will also be active and visible on their motorcycles as well as at many of our Community-based policing programs. Congratulations!”
The ceremony was followed by the presentation of the Motor Officer Instructor Certification. Chief Auerbach presented SRPD Off. Forrest Wood with his certificate.
Auerbach said, “It is such a special honor on behalf of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Salt River Police Department to officially recognize Off. Forrest Wood as a motor officer instructor. Besides his duties as the most senior motor officer at SRPD, he has the very special responsibility to be a coach and mentor. As one of our motor instructors, he is a role model for SRPD police officers and motor officers. Congratulations!”
The SRPD Traffic Enforcement Bureau has three main responsibilities: to educate the public about traffic safety through fairs, expos and Community presentations; to enforce both Community and state traffic codes; and to investigate all major traffic accidents on the Community, including fatalities. It is the goal of the SRPD to continue to build up this team to ensure safer streets and highways for all residents and guests of the Community.