By Sarrah Peters
The Etowah County Sheriff’s Motorcycle Unit recently gained a new member.
Last week Deputy Blake Perry completed and passed an 80 hour training class. The class took two weeks, and featured 10 days of eight hour classes.
Sergeant Brian Smith is the Motorcycle Unit’s instructor. He has been on the unit for six years and has been teaching the class for five years, but says that he has ridden motorcycles all of his life
The class focuses on maneuvers that are not usually for casual motorcycle units, this includes slow speed maneuvers, crowd handling, tight turns, braking and defensive driving techniques.
“The two-week, 80 hour training will develop the coordination, skill and confidence necessary for the deputy to safely and efficiently operate the motorcycle,” said Smith.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, the unit focuses on traffic enforcement and serves at ceremonial events including motorcades, parades and as traffic escorts at special events.
“The motor unit is an important part of traffic enforcement and special operations support for Etowah County,” said Sheriff Todd Entrekin.
Although, Perry raced motocross before, the skills he learned were new.
Perry was picked to do the training course through a selection process.
“Deputy Perry did very well with the training,” said Smith. “He was dedicated and focused. He will be a good addition to our unit.”
The unit has gone from four members to five, since Perry successfully completed his training. Along with Smith and Perry, the motorcycle unit consists of Captain Bob Vosbury, Deputy Jon Works and Deputy Philip Stone.