The Tempe Police Department in Arizona has mounted AR-15s on the back of eight of its police motorcycles.
The department initially tested the mounts in 2017 and decided to give them a try on some of the motorcycles, according to Sgt. Ronald Elcock, ABC 15 recently reported.
The reason behind the decision is that motorcycles can get to the scene faster than patrol cars, and the police want to carry weapons that are in the same league as what some criminals are carrying, according to Elcock.
Police carrying only handguns don’t stand a chance when others carry semi-automatic weapons, Elcock said.
“We don’t want to go into those situations where we aren’t able to keep the public safe,” he explained.
The AR-15s are easy to spot on the back of the motorcycles but are highly safeguarded.
“There’s a locking mechanism that would prevent anyone, except for the operator, to be able to get at the equipment,” Elcock explained.
The sergeant acknowledged it might take some time for the public to get used to seeing the AR-15s on the backs of motorcycles.
“There are people that may be scared to see it. However, when we explain to them the reason why we have it, I think it puts them a little bit more at ease,” Elcock added.