New BMW Motorcycles will replace aging, high-maintenance models.

CATHEDRAL CITY — In May 2023, the Police Department reinitiated the Traffic Bureau with three motor officers and one motor sergeant. In five to nine months, they likely will have new BMW motorcycles with which to do their jobs.

The Traffic Bureau’s primary responsibility is enforcing state and local traffic laws. A secondary responsibility is to respond to and investigate traffic collisions within the city. A Motor Officer contributes to an increase in traffic law enforcement, better in apprehending criminal and traffic law offenders, and an increase in efficiency of other traffic-related matters, according to Jon Enos, Police Commander.

The department currently has five motorcycles for use in traffic operations; (1) 2015 Honda ST1300; (2) 2012 Kawasaki Concours, and (2) 2009 Honda ST1300s. However, these motorcycles are aging and there are questions and concerns about their longevity with consistent use, according to Enos. Maintenance costs are substantial. Moreover, according to Enos, they have surpassed their “optimal operational lifespan.”

The City Council is poised to approve the purchase of four BMW Motorcycles from BMW Motorcycles of Riverside for $158,787.68, including sales tax and licensing fees, when it meets Wednesday. The item is on a Consent Agenda.

A consent agenda (also known by Roberts Rules of Order as a “consent calendar”) groups routine meeting discussion points into a single agenda item. In so doing, the grouped items can be approved in one action, rather than through the filing of multiple motions.

Staff has been searching for police motorcycles to purchase and found only two options. Harley Davidson and BMW. Currently, BMW Police Motors are being utilized by more than 550 agencies in the United States, including the three largest US fleets operated by the California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Police Department, and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Each valley agency also currently utilizes BMW motorcycles.

One benefit of purchasing the BMW motorcycle is it has the necessary emergency equipment, including LED lights, siren speakers, moving radar, police radio modules, and all accessory holders already installed, Enos wrote in a report to the City Council. This eliminates the need to separately upfit them with emergency equipment and accessories. Emergency equipment from the BMW motorcycles also has the ability to be utilized on subsequent BMW motorcycles when purchased in the future. A Harley Davidson would need to be sent to an upfitter to install the necessary lighting and emergency equipment. Harley Davidson motorcycles are not the style or platform operated by our department.

The 2015 Honda ST1300 will be retained as a backup motorcycle for use when other motorcycles are out of service for maintenance. The other four motorcycles will be sold upon the receipt of the new motorcycles.

There is an estimated lead time for delivery of the BMW motorcycles of five to nine months from the date of order. This is due to a large number of orders the manufacturer had from the chip shortage delay.

The overall objective of the reinstated Traffic Bureau is to keep the community safe for all who live, work, visit, and play in it. Additionally, the goal is to develop a traffic calming plan with strategies for addressing location-specific speeding issues.

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  • BMW Motorcycle: City of Cathedral City