More and more police agencies are issuing AR-15 style rifles to their officers, as police recognize the many advantages of the rifle for defense over the shotguns that used to be carried in cruisers. One of the latest groups to be issued the rifles are Tempe, Arizona motorcycle cops. That’s been a challenge because a method had to be found to keep the rifles both available and secure.
The latest accessory for Tempe police motorcycles is causing double-takes in this Phoenix suburb: a rear-mounted AR-15 rifle.
The department quietly has outfitted eight of its duty motorcycles, more than half, with the upright mounts for semiautomatic rifles.
Chief Sylvia Moir, the former chief of El Cerrito, California, brought the idea with her when she was hired by Tempe in September 2016, and it was embraced by officers, said Tempe police Commander Michael Pooley.
AR-15-equipped vehicles are common in many police and sheriff departments. The special motorcycle mount used by the Tempe motorcycle officers are said to make removal of the rifle difficult, unless the “tricks” are known.
It appears that a combination of movements is required to remove the rifle. it’s also possible that an electronic lock is used that may be dependent on an RFID device or similar system.
While it isn’t known who makes the mount used on the Tempe police two-wheelers, I suspect Alternative Vehicle Accessory Manufacturing in Prescott Arizona. Strangely, their site doesn’t have a photo of their mount, but their description seems compatible with the Tempe mount.
You’d hope that whatever mount Tempe chose, it adequately covers the trigger, unlike the version that Chino, California had chosen for their AR-equipped cycles.
The advantages of an AR-15 variant for a patrol rifle include 20-30 rounds, easily available magazines, light weight, accuracy, ease of use. Not to mention a significant power advantage over most pistols, and a familiarity gained from any military experience an officer may have.
All of those advantages also apply to everyday citizens who, after all, frequently face similar threats as police officers do.
Tempe PD thought there might be negative reactions to carrying AR-15 rifles on motorcycles. That did not happen.
(Commander Michael) Pooley said the agency was braced for a backlash when it deployed the guns: “We’re always concerned about public perceptions. We don’t want people to think we’re carrying these around for no reason.”
So far, he said, the agency has “gotten a lot of positive feedback” from people in the community.
Arizona is known for its strong support of Second Amendment rights. It’s likely most of the residents of Arizona recognize America’s rifle, and respect its capabilities and advantages for both police and civilians alike.
©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.