AMARILLO -- Three Amarillo Police Department Motorcycle Squad officers attended the 2014 JWA Spring Classic Police Motorcycle Skills Competition.
105 police motorcyclists competed in events divided by type of motorcycle and the officer’s expert or novice classification.
To qualify as an expert, an officer had to have three or more competitions under his belt, or to have placed in a previous competition. The competition is a timed course made up of a series of tight turns and difficult maneuvers designed to test the officer’s ability to control the motorcycle. Time penalties are added to the officer’s score if their foot touches the ground, if they knock over or touch a course marker cone, drop the motorcycle, or do not follow the prescribed pattern. All three Amarillo officers competed in the Harley Davidson/with Windshield and Fairing class. Many officers consider this the most demanding class because the fairing interferes with the officer’s ability to see the course directly below the front of the motorcycle
Ofc. Wade Pennington took home the 1st place trophy in this, his first, competition. Pennington has spent nearly two years of his over thirteen years with the Department assigned to the Motorcycle Unit.
Ofc. Trent Thomas, also in his first competition, took home a 3rd place trophy. Thomas is an eight year veteran of the APD, with four years on the Motorcycle Unit.
Sixteen officers competed in their class.
Cpl. Kenneth Donais, who came in 1st in Novice class last year to earn his place in the Expert class this year, took 7th place of thirty-seven riders in his division. Donais, a 24 year veteran, has been assigned to the Motorcycle Unit for four years.
The APD currently has thirteen officers assigned to the Motorcycle Unit including supervisor Sgt. Steve Davis.