Columbus trains with U.S. Secret Service Motor Unit

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, June 1, 2017

COLUMBUS – Polk County residents may have noticed police motorcycles and officers with the United States Secret Service last week in the Columbus area.

The Columbus Police Department teamed up with the U.S. Secret Service Uniform Division Motorcade Support Motorcycle Unit from Monday, May 22 to Thursday, May 25.

Columbus Police Chief Chris Beddingfield said the Columbus Police motorcycle officers and the Secret Service officers participated in a joint training that was hosted by the Columbus Police Department.

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The process began several years ago when Beddingfield attended police motorcycle instructor school with two officers from the U.S. Secret Service.

Beddingfield said that during the school, discussions included open road curve skills and negotiation techniques, and since the topography of our area was similar, talk of joint training began.

Beddingfield said three uniform motorcycle officers, a supervisor from the U.S. Secret Service, Columbus motorcycle officers and motorcycle officers from Asheville and Hendersonville Police Departments participated in the recent training.

U.S. Secret Service Uniform Division Motorcade Support Motorcycle Unit officers pictured in front of the Columbus Police Department during joint training hosted by Columbus last week. (photo submitted by Chris Beddingfield)

Training included some classroom work and riding on various roads in the Polk County area, as well as other activities, including a tour of the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Magazine museum in Maggie Valley and a trip to the Dragon in Deals Gap to experience 318 curves in 11 miles.

“Everywhere we went in Columbus and Polk County we were questioned if the president was coming to town or who were we looking for,” said Beddingfield. “There was a lot of positive interaction between the officers and citizens in the area. Yes, these are the actual guys who escort the president, vice president and dignitaries from other countries when they are traveling in and around Washington, D.C.”

Beddingfield said all the participants improved their skills during the training and there are discussions about making the training an annual event in the future.