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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU’s Police Department Receives New Harley-Davidson Bike 

By Noell Saunders

Old Dominion University's Police Department has a new set of wheels — a 2018 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle.

The motorcycle, painted in the University's silver and blue colors, was donated by Maurice Slaughter, a member of Old Dominion's Board of Visitors, and his wife, Cynthia. Slaughter was the first African-American owner of a Harley-Davidson dealership in the company's history. He owns four dealerships in Hampton Roads.

"Harley-Davidson has always been a company focused on communities," Slaughter said. "It was just a natural blend with our company values and for my and Cynthia's values. We were happy do it."

ODU Police Chief Rhonda Harris said the motorcycle is the first of its kind for the department. It will be used to assist with community outreach, parades, football escorts and the department's traffic and safety enhancement program.

"This is a big step up for ODU. I was super excited when I was approached by Maurice on this," Harris said. "It fits right into our plans as we continue to professionalize this police department."

Harley-Davidson's Electra Glide motorcycle is one of the models that U.S. law enforcement officials use because of its unique features. ODU Police Captain Garrett Shelton said the new bike will be beneficial because in traffic, it's the equivalent of about three police cars because of its maneuverability.

"The engine is the same, but what changes in the bike is the ergonomics that Harley-Davidson has designed in the seat," Shelton said. "It's a seat designed for motor officers. We certainly would not have one if Maurice hadn't stepped in. It's already an asset to the department."

Officers must attend two-week specialized training to operate the motorcycle. In Hampton Roads, a field training program is required after officers have passed the two-week training. Officers must able to multitask, move efficiently through traffic and work in tight areas.

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