On cold days, some deputies have their choice of two wheels or four.
Richmond County sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Puckett said that sometimes, he would rather bundle up and be his motorcycle than in a patrol car.
“We all rode (Wednesday),” he said of the 11 officers in the motorcycle division. “It was like 28 degrees, but we all wanted to after being on vacation.”
When the weather reaches freezing temperatures, the sheriff’s office asks that the deputies move to spare cars to avoid the frigid weather.
“We don’t want to take any chances with these guys hitting any black ice or anything,” Capt. Scott Gay said.
But even if the weather’s not freezing, Puckett, who has been in the motorcycle division since 2002, said it gets chilly when he’s speeding along at 50 mph or more.
“We just have to bundle up,” he said. “We look like abominable snowmen some days.”
Puckett, who was born in Cleveland, said he’s used to cold weather.
Georgia summers are worse for him.
But from late November to March, Puckett adds gloves, long johns, a turtleneck and a hood to his uniform to help keep warm.
He and his fellow deputies who choose to be in the motorcycle division frequently stop at service stations on their beat to warm their toes and grab a cup of coffee.
Puckett said the days when he sees an entire unit move to cars for the whole shift are rare.
A lot of days, they’ll begin the morning in a car and trade out later in the day.
Supervisors work with the deputies and allow them to trade out when it’s needed rather than letting the temperature dictate the final decision.
“If somebody comes in and they’re a little sick, they’ll let us have a car,” Puckett said.
However, the trade comes at a disadvantage for deputies who are used to the freedom a motorcycle provides.
“When there’s a lot of traffic, they can’t move through the traffic as quickly in the patrol car as the motorcycle,” Gay said.