Wichita Police unveil new motor unit

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The Wichita Police Department has a new motorcycle unit enforcing traffic laws. 

The new unit will have a total of eight motorcycles, paid for by a federal grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

"Chief Ramsay shared with me a comment about bringing the motorcycles back. He said, 'If you truly want to keep our streets safe, you can't do it with patrol cars. You have to do it with motorcycles,'" said Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell.

The motor unit was disbanded in 2001 after a series of accidents and after the traffic unit was de-centralized.

Currently, seven officers are on the unit, with one more on the way.

"It doesn't take very long if your attention's distracted to cause an accident and I think it's very important that we focus on that stuff," said Officer Tricia Tiede.

Tiede and her partner, Officer Craig Train, are the two instructors on the team. Last year, they were trained in Garden City and Edmund. 

"I was told I was one of six female instructors on the motor unit within the nation. I find it very rewarding. I hope to encourage other females on the department or individuals that are looking for this profession," said Tiede.

The motor unit is part of the newly centralized traffic unit that includes both motorcycle and patrol cars. They are focusing on reducing traffic and DUI violations.

"No one likes receiving a ticket. However, we do need to change driving behaviors," said Train.

The units will focus on high traffic areas around the city. The following were the top five areas for traffic accidents in 2017:

  1. Kellogg and Broadway, 58 accidents
  2. Kellogg and Rock Road, 56 accidents
  3. Kellogg and Seneca, 55 accidents
  4. Kellogg and Eisenhower Airport, 52 accidents
  5. Kellogg and Meridian, 46 accidents

For a full list of the traffic accident areas, click here.

The following are the number of traffic accident deaths in Wichita: 

2001: 29 (motor unit disbanded)
2002: 35
2003: 19
2004: 24
2005: 24
2006: 36
2007: 16
2008: 21
2009: 21
2010: 29
2011: 26
2012: 24
2013: 30
2014: 28
2015: 28
2016: 27
2017: 26
2018: 2 (new motor unit unveiled)

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