CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – It’s been at least 5 years since the Horry County Police Department had a full-fledged motorcycle unit, but the bikes are back on the road.
“At a moment’s notice, we can be out there. You can turn around in a dime, go through crowds, get through traffic. Whatever you need.”, says Officer Dwight Tomlin, one of the motorcycle unit members.
According to Tomlin, traffic enforcement has taken a backseat over the last few years because the department has been short staffed. He says the department decided to revive the motorcycle unit to address safety concerns they’ve received from community members. “We had them on the back burner due to manning issues. But we have a new police chief on board now, so we actually have them now engaging in different areas where we have issues with traffic,” said Tomlin.
Officer Tomlin says their biggest traffic issue is speeding. He says they get complaint calls from throughout the county every day. “I think it’s needed. The way the community is right now, with the issues we have going on, I think it’s important to be out, engaging the community to try and resolve issues before they become a problem.”
There are currently six officers in the unit. Three are full-time, while the other three balance other officer duties. Tomlin says the department plans to buy four more bikes and hire more officers, but for now, he said, “we take them as the complaints come in and we try to go out and do what we can with what we have.”
Though the motorcycle unit has only been on the road a few months, Tomlin says people have already taken notice. “A lot of people aren’t used to seeing those. And when they see us they’re happy that we’re out there.”