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'Penny for Pasco' surtax used to purchase six police motorcycles

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The "Penny for Pasco" surtax provided by residents of Pasco County enabled the Pasco County Sheriff's Office to purchase six new Victory motorcycles, equipped with all the tools necessary for traffic unit deputies to accomplish their duties. The six new motorcycles were unveiled on January 09, 2014, at the sheriff's office main Operations Center in New Port Richey, Fla.

Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco was on-hand to marvel at these new law enforcement units, and to answer questions from both the public and media.

The specialized purposes for the new motorcycles is to allow traffic unit-assigned deputies to essentially conduct traffic enforcement throughout the county, and to easily maneuver among crowds at county events, such as parades and government festivals. Moreover, traffic deputies --also known as motor units-- can smoothly patrol in more narrow pathways.

Patrol cruisers cannot traverse among crowds in parks, in narrow passages, congested populations at parades, and escort-oriented assignments. The motorcycles are also great public relations tools. Deputies showcase the police motorcycles (and all equipment) at school functions, crime prevention meetings, and dignitary-related venues.

Each of the Victory motorcycles is fully-marked with PCSO insignia, outfitted with a laptop, and a bevy of law enforcement equipment.

The Penny for Pasco surtax was used to purchase the motorcycles and all necessary tools of the trade for each traffic deputy operating a motorcycle. The surtax was initiated in 2004 and renewed by Pasco County voters in 2012. Broken down into percentages, 20% is allocated for public safety and alleviation of traffic congestion issues.

The PCSO deputies who operate the motorcycles have specialized skills. Each member of the PCSO Traffic Unit must pass a lengthy law enforcement motorcycle operations class, a hand-held speed measurement course ("radar gun" operators), and indicate an interest to function as a traffic-oriented deputy.

With the six new police motorcycles, the residents of Pasco County will get to see their tax dollars at work, PCSO deputies atop police motorcycles, keeping the streets safe and traffic flowing accordingly.

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