CAMP VERDE - Five years ago, Russell Grover did not know how to ride a motorcycle. On May 13, Grover became Camp Verde's first motorcycle officer.
In August, Grover will have spent 10 years as an officer with the CVMO. But Grover was not looking for a change in duties. Grover says he was satisfied with his work as an investigator, specializing in DUI enforcement and phlebotomy work.
"Between all these abilities and skills, Russell's love of working outside and with the public made him a perfect fit for this position," Marshal Nancy Gardner said of the CVMO. "Plus, he's very determined."
"I never thought I'd be a motorcycle officer," Grover said. "Not until Marshal Gardner recognized my experience."
For his new duties, Grover completed a two-week academy class that prepared him for patrolling the town on a motorcycle.
For the newly created position, CVMO recently purchased a 2005 Harley-Davidson from the Prescott Valley Police Department. According to Gardner, Grover was "very instrumental in the purchase of the bike."
"I am very honored and privileged to be accepted for this job," Grover said. "I feel that I am very capable of doing this job. I'm very proactive, very community-oriented. I get involved with the community."
"One of the goals of bringing in a motorcycle officer to Camp Verde is that it is a more personal approach to the community," Gardner said. "We're looking for another way to educate the community on traffic laws, DUI enforcement and the effects of speeding and accidents.
"This is another tool that we can network with other police departments and participate in DUI task forces, parades and events, and funerals," Gardner said."
As a motorcycle officer, Grover will now focus his efforts on traffic-related issues and enforcement. "He will ensure the safety of our citizens by slowing them down," Gardner said.
According to Grover, the motorcycle position is also a "morale booster for the department," in that officers like an opportunity to promote within the department to either work as a motorcycle officer, work with S.W.A.T., K-9 units or other specialty units.
"We're very proud as a Marshal's Office to add this tool to the department," Gardner said.
Grover calls the motorcycle "a real conversation piece."
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