Portsmouth Police establishes new motorcycle unit

Allows officers to interact with community more easily, department says

By Jim McGaw
Posted 7/11/19

PORTSMOUTH — Call it Portsmouth's own version of “CHiPs.”

The Portsmouth Police Department has established a new, two-person motorcycle unit that’s intended to improve its …

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Portsmouth Police establishes new motorcycle unit

Allows officers to interact with community more easily, department says

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — Call it Portsmouth's own version of “CHiPs.”

The Portsmouth Police Department has established a new, two-person motorcycle unit that’s intended to improve its community policing efforts by allowing officers to interact more easily with residents.

It was the last initiative announced by outgoing Police Chief Thomas Lee before he left his job on Thursday, July 11.

The motorcycle unit, which is covered under the town budget under “police vehicles,” will be part of the department’s Patrol Division.

“The Motorcycle Unit will represent the department at community events and will have the ability to provide escorts for celebrations as well as participating in parades,” a press release from the department stated. 

The new unit was used right away for the latter purpose — escorting Chief Lee away from the police station during his "walk-out" ceremony Thursday.

Two officers comprise the unit: Detective Jacob Silva and Officer Maddie Pirri, who successfully completed the 40-hour Police Motorcycle Course sponsored by New England Police Vehicle Leasing.

The department believes that Officer Pirri, who’s also a school resource officer (SRO), is the first female motor officer in Rhode Island.

“I don’t know how she’s going to be the SRO on a bike. We’ll have to figure that out,” council member Keith Hamilton joked within earshot of Officer Pirri during the walk-out ceremony.

“I’ll ride it to school!” replied Officer Pirri.

“Is it easier going down the hallways at the middle school?” Mr. Hamilton responded.

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