The Stockton, California, Police Department is fighting fire with fire. The department has seen an uptick in the use of non-legal off-road dirt bikes and utility sport vehicles (UTVs) on roadways. The department opted to use legal off-road bikes to combat the issue.
Police told KCRA that the illegal vehicles have been spotted driving recklessly along city streets and in residential neighborhoods.
Stockton Officers Get New Rides
The agency replaced its old dirt bikes using its internal service fund. Stockton PD has used dirt bikes in its traffic enforcement division for over a decade. However, the bikes are mostly used for off-road duties, like combatting illegal off-road activities. They are also used to patrol canals, parks, and other hard-to-reach areas.
The agency chose the new bikes specifically because they are also street legal. Owens said they are able to keep up with other vehicles they are trying to catch, and are small enough to drive through bollards if needed.
The officers don't need a special license to drive the dirt bikes. However, only officers in the agency's motor traffic enforcement division have access to use the bikes. They are all trained and maintain a Class M license for normal patrol use.