Photo by Andrew Wigdor / News Editor
Citing one serious motorcycle crash in July and another Tuesday, which injured two police officers, the Murfreesboro Police Department has suspended its motorcycle program until further notice, according to Murfreesboro Police Chief Karl Durr.
On July 13, Murfreesboro Police Officer Matt Stern was involved in a motorcycle crash that caused serious injuries, including two collapsed lungs and several broken ribs.
Another incident occurred Tuesday when Chris Harris and Chris Waters, two Murfreesboro Police officers, were involved in a crash. They sustained minor injuries.
Durr said officers formerly assigned to the motor unit will now use police issued cars to conduct traffic operations. This decision is “effective immediately,” according to Durr.
He said the crash involving Harris and Waters “prompted (MPD) to expedite the evaluation of the motorcycle program.”
Durr said Lt. Clayton Williams is researching the benefits and dangers of motorcycle units and vehicle crash responses.
“MPD officers respond to over 5,000 vehicle crashes annually,” Durr said.
In an additional effort to ensure safety for drivers, the department has decided to partner with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office over Labor Day weekend to reduce the amount of drunk drivers on the roads.
According to a press release from MPD Spokesman Kyle Evans, marked and unmarked police vehicles will have a heightened presence on the roads Friday through Monday.
“Officers will be focused on enforcing traffic laws and looking for violations consistent with impaired driving,” the press release reads.
The partnership parallels the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, a Labor Day campaign focused on stopping drunk driving.
“It is essential to be responsible and plan a sober ride home from wherever you celebrate this long weekend,” Durr said. “MPD officers will make no exceptions if you are caught drunk driving.”
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