Deputy has new motorcycle for patrol
Deputy Win Smith of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department has a new motorcycle for patrolling Buellton.
He and the white six-speed, 1200cc, 2007 BMW R1200 RT-P are the key components to the city’s drive to make Highway 246 safer.
And on top of that, “it’s a comfortable bike,” said Smith, who is Buellton’s traffic enforcement officer under the city’s contract with the county for police services.
“Traffic’s my specialty,” said the 28-year veteran of law enforcement, who has spent the past six and a half years with the Sheriff’s Department.
He plans to target what he calls “the big three killers”: Drunken driving, speeding and violations of seat-belt laws.
Smith said “very few” of the more than 100 speeding tickets he’s issued so far have gone to court.
“People are not upset with the enforcement. They pay their fines and move on. It’s not just a ticket-writing campaign; the idea is to make traffic in the community safer,” Smith said.
The BMW motorcycle is much more advanced than the Harley Davidson Ultra that he formerly drove, Smith said. The new one has a heated seat and grips, advanced suspension, anti-lock brakes and an integrated braking system to prevent an end-over-end flip.
The total cost of the motorcycle plus equipment is $25,713.63. The purchase is funded by part of a $90,000 grant for additional law-enforcement services from the Chumash Tribe. The grant, which the city has applied for again, is also being used to pay the deputy’s salary, City Manager Steve Thompson said.
There has been a “visible difference” in traffic speed visible from his City Hall window facing Highway 246 when Smith is on duty, Thompson said.
“People pay more attention,” the city manager noted.