On August 13 to August 16, 2014, members of the Toronto Police Motor Squad attended the Great Lakes Police Motorcycle Training Seminar, which was hosted By York Regional Police.
The training seminar started with a lecture by Dr. Gary Jarvis, of the Institute of Police Technology and Management University of North Florida. Dr. Jarvis provided officers with some tactical motorcycle strategies including how to use visualization in the day-to-day operation of a police motorcycle. He gave motor officers information on the physiological preparation for a dynamic situation including controlled breathing and building a tough mental mind-set. Of the over 80 participants attending the Training Seminar, 12 of them were from the Toronto Police Motor Squad.
Part of the training seminar objective is to “establish and promote safe motorcycle-riding skills within the police community." Motor Officers participate in several different cone patterns, which challenge them to perform under tough conditions. These cone patterns make motor officers perform tight left and right turns and quick transitions between these turns. During the cone patterns, Motor Officers often push their motorcycles and their skills to the point where the motorcycle scrapes the road surface and yet the Motor Officer is still in control. On the competition day, several of Dr. Jarvis’ techniques were employed by the Motor Officers. Officers have one opportunity to go through each cone pattern with a large audience, judges and their peers watching the officers. This places a great deal of stress on the Motor Officer. This training where officers are exposed to multi-tasking under stressful conditions provides the officers with mental preparation for the road.
There are several other events at the training seminar, which challenge both the Motor Officer and the motorcycle. Officers also take part in a Challenge course, which they do not have opportunity to practice for, and a motorcycle slow ride. This object of the slow ride is to balance the motorcycle and to ride as slow as possible through the course. This is extremely difficult as police motorcycle weigh approximately 1000 lbs after all the equipment is installed! Also, Motor Officers challenge their skills, some of which include the Last Rider Standing, the Partner Ride and the SMART ride. The SMART ride involves four randomly selected members of different police services entering a cone pattern and going through the pattern as quickly as possible without touching a cone.
This four-day course provides the Motor Officers with “time in the saddle” which ultimately builds each officers’ confidence and competence. It also helps to reach one of the other seminar’s objectives which is to “establish a cohesive fraternity and to encourage kinship in the law enforcement motoring community." Each Motor Officer then realizes the special connection between the select few Police Motorcycle Officers within the province of Ontario.
Based on the Motor Officers' performance, the officers receive awards for the top performers in each category. A snap shot of the award winners include:
Novice Division: Constable Dawood Khurshid, of the Toronto Police Service
Expert Division: Inspector Andy Norrie, of the Toronto Police Service
It is noteworthy that seven of Toronto’s Motor Squad officers placed in the top 14 riders in the event! Also of note is that Toronto Constable Paul Pisani won the Last Rider Standing event as well as the Partner Ride with his partner Inspector Andy Norrie. Those two officers were also part of the SMART winning team with other members from Chatham-Kent Police and the Ontario Provincial Police. Constable Pisani and Inspector Norrie also were part of another overall team with other members of the TPS and won first place in the Overall Team Event.
The Toronto Police Service has some of the best Police Motorcycle Officers on the Continent. Motor Squad Officers are proud of their accomplishments at the training seminar and are proud to serve and protect the citizens of Toronto.