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Officers Graduate from Motor School
Congratulations are in order! Three Rancho Cordova Police officers – Officers Ronald Sutter, Kimberly Boswell and Ken Gouveia – recently graduated from the Sacramento Regional Drivers Training Facility’s Basic Police Motor School class. Each officer completed 80 hours of training in the class to teach them to safely ride a police motorcycle, which follows 80 hours of pre-training to prepare them for the class.
The Motor School class was created in 2004 with the goal to provide a regional motorcycle program for law enforcement agencies. Agencies from the Sacramento region and throughout California, and as far away as Vancouver, Canada, have sent officers to be trained at this school.
The primary premise is for officers to learn to control the motorcycle at slow, moderate and high speed on a variety of surfaces, which are typical conditions for a Motor Officer. The cone patterns utilized during instruction are designed to instill riding techniques that the officers will use throughout their careers to help them avoid collisions and keep them safe.
Officer Sutter, a 23-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, has aspirations of working with the community as a Motor Officer. Officer Sutter feels it’s an art to learn how to ride a bike and decided to go to motor school to try to get one step closer towards his goal.
“The biggest takeaway from the program I’d say is the idea that a lot of people don’t like motorcycle cops because maybe they’re nitpicking on traffic violations or what have you,” said Sutter. “As a motor officer, you get to really see how those violations that people think are small can impact a motorcycle rider or the motoring public in cars. A small violation that might make a small car accident with a person could potentially kill a motorcycle rider.”
Officer Boswell, a 13-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, grew up with motorcycles and enjoys riding them. This and her respect for and work with the motor officers at RCPD made her want to go to Motor School. In spite of the physically and mentally demanding training, Officer Boswell graduated and calls it her biggest accomplishment during her time at the Sheriff’s Department.
“It was the biggest decision I’ve ever made in my entire career,” said Boswell. “It was the hardest decision because of the dangers. That’s why there are very few officers who actually take the plunge to become a motor officer because of the dangers of this job. I wanted to represent the Rancho Cordova Police Department, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, and especially the very few women that actually pass and become motor officers.”
Officer Gouveia, a 13-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, always had an interest in doing motorcycle and traffic enforcement. He said motor school was the first step in the road to becoming a motor officer. Now that he’s graduated, Officer Gouveia looks forward to doing more in-house training to learn the ins and outs of enforcement.
“You have a whole new respect for motor officers,” said Officer Gouveia. “Going into the school they tell you it’s going to be hard, and day one, you discover how hard it’s going to truly be. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve done in law enforcement even with the academy.”
Now that the officers have graduated, they will spend an additional 80 hours of time with a Certified Motorcycle Training Officer to train them on performing the duties of traffic enforcement. The Rancho Cordova Police Department congratulates Officers Sutter, Boswell and Gouveia for a job well done!