Sheriff’s Office Holds Police Motorcycle Training Program for its Own Deputies and Other Departments

Sheriff’s Dep. Glen Markham, the originator of the idea to hold a police motorcycle training program.

St. Bernard Parish Sheriff ’s Dep. Glen Markham, a native of Chalmette, rode motorcycles for 28 years as a New Orleans policeman and has been an instructor for six years.
He said any officer who wants to ride a police motorcycle has to understand it’s not a question of whether they will go down with the bike in training or on the streets. “It’s not if but when,’’ Markham said. “If you’re not falling you’re not training.’’
Markham has had several concussions and numerous broken bones in motorcycle incidents. “I don’t know who hasn’t gone down.” But those who truly love riding find a way to persevere through injuries, he said.
In the two-week, 80-hour course he teaches, Markham said, “You can take people who have never ridden a motorcycle and two weeks later they (have been certified and) can be on the street’’
Markham, with help from instructors Arthur Laurent and Nick O’Connor from State Police, both troopers, and retired NOPD instructor Ed Brauner, has been conducting a motorcycle training course in Chalmette for five officers – two from St. Bernard Parish, and one each from State Police, the New Orleans Police Department and the Harahan Police Department. The course runs from Oct. 3-14.
The officers are St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Capt. Daniel Doucet and Dep. Dixie Dusang, State Police Trooper Howard Amos, New Orleans Police Capt. Mike Glasser and Harahan Policeman Joel Porretto.
Also, re-certification courses are being held for officers from St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, State Police and the Slidell Police Department.
Sheriff’s Dep. Glen Markham, the originator of the idea to hold a police motorcycle training program.
“It was a great idea’’ to hold the training course, said St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann, who approved putting it on.
It gives the Sheriff ’s Office more options for using motorcycle officers by having two more people certified, said Sheriff Pohlmann, who has made training for officers a priority and has overseen variety of training offered.
Capt. Doucet rides during an exercise involving cones.
Markham said at the end of the first week of training, “Everyone made a huge improvement” from where they started.
Officers began learning on a huge asphalt lot donated for use by St. Bernard Port authorities, with cones laid out for different type exercises, and by the end of the first week they were also riding on grass and dirt.
“It’s the most intense motorcycle training you can go through,’’ Markham said.
Capt. Doucet, a veteran of nearly 20 years in law enforcement, most of which has been with the St. Bernard Sheriff ’s Office, said he has ridden
The five officers from several departments who took part in the training, including two from the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office.
a wide motorcycles in the past but all smaller than the Harley-Davidson Road Kings used by police.
“It’s not like pleasure riding,’’ he said of the police motorcycles.
Doucet also said he wanted to be trained in Markham’s course because “I wanted to try something different.’’
Dep. Dusang,, who has been with the Sheriff’s Office three years full-time and as a Reserve Division deputy before that, said she had never ridden a motorcycle before starting the course. “I didn’t even know how to crank it.’’
“I was asked if I wanted to do it and I said sure,’’ she said. “I will take any training I can’’
And now, Dusang said, “I love it. I have learned a lot.’’