Webster Parish Sheriff's Office deputies typically hit the road on four wheels, but for two that number will be cut in half.
Deputies Tony Matteson and Jeremy Utphall completed a five-day training class through Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office and have been assigned the first two motorcycles in WPSO history.
"I want to present you with this 40-hour basic certificate from the Bossier Parish motorcycle course," BPSO Motor Instructor Dep. Jeff Pleasants said to Matteson and Utphall in turn during a small ceremony Monday.
"These are the most important thing," Pleasants continued. "These are your motor-wings [...] and not a lot of people have those. You earned it, wear them with pride."
Matteson, already an experienced rider, said he gained much in those 40 hours.
"I learned you're not supposed to put your foot down," Matteson continued. "We went through obstacle courses – I didn't think they could be done."
Utphall also said there was much to learn.
"One of the best things we learned is how to handle (the motorcycle) in different situations," he said. "Being able to have that confidence to be on the road and maneuver the bike is what we learned."
The deputies will use the motorcycles every day, weather permitting, and will re-certify every six months.
WPSO Sheriff Gary Sexton hopes the new vehicles will provide multiple advantages to his office.
"I think the biggest thing is they are a PR tool," he said. "They draw attention."
Despite their visibility as a public relations tool, Sexton also cited their low profile on the roadside when a larger vehicle is inappropriate.
"They are just less expensive to operate," Sexton said. "And Bossier SO was gracious enough to put a school on and didn't charge us a thing.
"I really want to thank both (former BPSO Sheriff) Larry Deen and Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington," he continued.
According to WPSO Chief Deputy Bobby Igo, Jr., Matteson will champion an effort to secure grants for additional motorcycles in the future.