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Tempe police motorcycle units getting a lot of attention for new rifle mounts

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Motorcycle cops in the Arizona city of Tempe are “rolling heavy” when it comes to firepower- and not everyone is happy about it.

TPD motor unit officers are catching a lot of looks after the department decided to mount specialized rifle racks on their bikes, capable of holding an AR-pattern semiautomatic rifle.

Given that motor units can weave through traffic and get to a potential crisis faster than regular patrol units, the idea of issuing rifles to motor units makes a lot of sense- provided proper maintenance and upkeep to combat the rifles’ constant exposure to the elements.

Sergeant Ronald Elcock told ABC 15 reporters that the measure is a smart way to ensure that officers responding to a dire situation will not be outgunned.

“We don’t want to go into those situations where we aren’t able to keep the public safe,” said Elcock.

The rifles are secured in place with “special technology,” which could range from biometric or proximity key locking methods, such as keypads or a RFID chip on an officer’s uniform.

While the rifles are openly displayed in an open-carry state, some locals voiced their concern about the militaristic look it gives police- even though an AR-15 is a civilian-grade firearm.

“There are people that may be scared to see it,” said Elcock. “However when we explain to them the reason why we have it I think it puts them a little bit more at ease.”

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