by Gus Breiland

AMA Hosts Second Summit On Motorcycle Sound
The AMA has announced that the second National Summit on Motorcycle Sound was held on Saturday, May 14 in Columbus, Ohio, and that the group has published its recommendations for addressing the issue.

The recommendations have been released as a document called Sound Advice. It is the product of two years of effort by the Motorcycle Sound Working Group, which was formed after the first summit conference in May of 2003.

Contributors included representatives of the street and off-road motorcycling communities, as well as motorcycle manufacturers, aftermarket companies, event organizers, law enforcement, municipal government and research institutions and regulatory agencies.

“We’re grateful to all those who contributed to these recommendations, helping American motorcyclists address a difficult and important issue,” said Robert Rasor, AMA President. “Now, for the motorcycling community and the powersports industry, the real work begins and the AMA will continue to participate in creating solutions.”

“Sound Advice speaks with virtually every voice in American motorcycling and it speaks to everyone who has a stake in American motorcycling’s future,” said Ed Moreland, AMA Vice President for Government Relations and facilitator of the Motorcycle Sound Working Group. “We encourage motorcyclists, businesses and communities to work together to support the working group’s recommendations.”

To read the Sound Advice document, get a cup of coffee and dial into:

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Selected To Serve The Los Angeles Police Department
MILWAUKEE (April 1, 2005) – The City of Los Angeles, employing the largest complement of police motorcycles of any Municipal agency in the United States, has issued a purchase order for 75 ABS-equipped Harley-Davidson Police Electra Glide motorcycles to replace a portion of their existing fleet of 393 motorcycles.

LAPD conducted exhaustive motorcycle performance testing in November 2004 involving Harley-Davidson, BMW and Honda police-spec motorcycles. Harley-Davidson motorcycles performed well in all tests including acceleration, handling and braking, and were ultimately deemed the motorcycle that best fit the mission of the LAPD. In addition to performance, other favorable criteria considered were purchase cost, the cost of maintenance and operation, and the fact that Harley-Davidson police motorcycles were deemed “reliable workhorses” by the LAPD.

Harley-Davidson police motorcycles are presently in service with some 2,800 law enforcement agencies nationwide and serve in some 45 countries abroad.

Trooper Suspended For “Too Bad” Response To 911 Call
The AMA had an update on the “Too Bad Trooper” in which they included a letter from the Connecticut State Patrol Commissioner. At the end of the article we have included excerpts from the Commissioner’s letter.

Media across the country has picked up a story about a Connecticut state trooper who was suspended for saying “too bad” in response to a 911 call about a motorcycle crash that ultimately led to the rider’s death.

When a friend of Justin Sawyer called 911 to report Sawyer had been in a street motorcycle crash in Lisbon, Connecticut, the state trooper who took the call responded by saying “Yeah, too bad” and hung up.

A second emergency call to 911 by another friend of Sawyer’s, answered by the same trooper, got a similar response: “Yeah, help will get there. Shouldn’t be playing games.” The trooper then hung up again. A third 911 call was answered by a female dispatcher who assessed the status of the injured rider, told the caller not to let anyone touch him and then said: “I will send an ambulance out there, OK?”

That incident happened last August. Sawyer died a week after the crash from his injuries. After a months-long internal investigation, Robert Peasley, the 18-year veteran trooper who took the initial calls, was suspended without pay for 15 days beginning on March 21.

Police officials maintain that despite Peasley’s comments, he acted promptly to send emergency personnel to the scene. Officials also apologized to Sawyer’s family for Peasley’s comments. The police union, which believes the trooper’s punishment is harsh, says Peasley is remorseful for his actions.

The story has gained attention well beyond Connecticut and has appeared on CNN, NBC, and in USA Today, among other national media outlets which now includes MMM.

The AMA has received the following statement from the Connecticut State Police about the incident described above MMM has edited the letter for space, but has not affected the letter’s sincerity or intent.

March 29, 2005

Thank you for allowing me to respond to your concerns about the way in which the State Police at Troop E in Montville responded to 911 calls reporting the tragic accident that claimed the life of Justin Sawyer. Everyone at the Department of Public Safety feels deeply sorry for the Sawyer family’s loss and sincerely regrets the remarks that were made to the 911 callers by Trooper Robert Peasley. I also appreciate and understand your reaction to the Trooper’s handling of the calls. Please let me explain the actions I’ve taken and the reasons for doing so.

After learning of the incident, the Commanding Officer of the Connecticut State Police ordered the Internal Affairs Unit to investigate the circumstances surrounding the 911 calls. Specifically, the Internal Affairs Unit was ordered to determine the specific order in which the 911 calls were received at the Troop, the remarks made by both Trooper Peasley and the dispatcher with whom he worked that day, and their actions in dispatching both State Police Troopers and emergency medical personnel to the scene. In doing so, Internal Affairs investigators interviewed every witness to the accident and all emergency services responders. The investigators also reviewed all available police and ambulance dispatch records and tape recordings of the 911 calls that reported the accident.

Internal Affairs investigators determined that, in response to a call for help, Trooper Peasley responded rudely and unprofessionally. When told of the street bike accident on Incinerator Road, Trooper Peasley said “too bad,” and hung up the phone. In response to the next call from that scene, Trooper Peasley told the caller that State Police would respond and added “[you] shouldn’t be playing games.” About the same time, the dispatcher working with Trooper Peasley took another call from the scene and assured the caller that help was on the way. Importantly, the investigation revealed that despite the Trooper’s unprofessional, rude and inappropriate comments, both State Police and EMS personnel were dispatched promptly to the crash scene.

Indeed, the reporting witness estimates that the first State Trooper arrived within five minutes of the accident. In short, the evidence shows that neither the dispatcher nor Trooper Peasley ignored the calls for help. They dispatched help to the scene within seconds of the first call.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Trooper Peasley fell far short of conduct that Connecticut residents expect and the Connecticut State Police demand from a Trooper. For that reason, Trooper Peasley, who has an unblemished 18-year career and who has often been praised by the public and his superiors for his dedication, has been suspended for 15 days without pay.

The State Police has a long and proud tradition of dedication to the people of this state. That tradition rests on the selfless efforts of many brave men and women who regularly place themselves in harm’s way to protect others. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice in doing so.

This incident tarnishes that tradition and embarrasses this proud agency. At the least, we hope that we have learned from it and that it will not be repeated.

More importantly, our hearts go out to Justin Sawyer’s family and friends.And if the remarks of the Trooper have added in any way to their grief, we are deeply sorry.

Thank you again for writing and for allowing me to respond.


Commissioner Leonard C. Boyle



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