U of I purchases Victory Police Motorcycles
Law enforcement agencies in China, Thailand and Sweden already have them.
As of Tuesday, the University of Iowa will have them too.
Officers from Iowa City arrived Tuesday morning in Spirit Lake to pick up a pair of customized Victory Police Motorcycles. The department with 44 sworn officers and 18 security guards will be the first law enforcement agency in eastern Iowa to add motorcycles to its fleet.
Noska said the motorcycles will add mobility for officers patrolling campus.
"Seven times a year, we host 100,000 fans who come down for the Hawkeye football games, so traffic is really congested around the stadium and in Iowa City in general," Captain Loren Noska of the University of Iowa's Police Division said. "These will be an exceptional tool."
The department expects to reduce wear-and-tear on patrol cars and save on fuel costs with the acquisition. The university's department of public safety began discussing the potential purchase about two years ago.
"We evaluated all of the other police motorcycles on the market and after comparing all of them, the Victory had all of the essentials that we wanted for officer safety and comfort," Noska said. "It had all the features we were looking for."
The Victory Police Motorcycle Division at Polaris adds some tip-over protection at the rear of the bike. A steel skid plate is added to the bottom of the motorcycle, which allows a pursuing officer to go up curbs and sets of stairs. The frame also can withstand a gunshot form a .44-caliber weapon. Mike Schultz of Victory Police Motorcycles said the company surveyed more than 4,000 officers before delving into a line of police motorcycles.
At its core, it is still the same Victory motorcycle civilian enthusiasts have come to enjoy.
"We add a little bit of safety to it, but we don't alter the motorcycle at all," Schultz said. "Our focus was: We have the best ride out there, we have the most comfortable bike out there, so we don't want to alter the handling of that motorcycle at all."
The company has produced 210 Victory Police Motorcycles so far. Twenty-two law enforcement agencies in the United States and five Canadian departments have the Spirit Lake-produced motorcycles in their fleets.
"We've never called on an agency," Schultz said. "They call us, so we're only dealing with the agencies who contact us. We sit down and the bikes are built specifically to the agency's requirements."
Many arrive with radar, video equipment and police radios ready to go. Iowa City officers tested the lights and sirens out in the Polaris parking lot.
"Put the license plate on and the bike can go right on the road," Schultz said.
That wasn't an option for the Iowa City officers -- the Victory Police Motorcycles were loaded onto a trailer for the journey across Iowa.
"We'd love to ride them back," Noska said.