AR15's are being spotted mounted on Tempe police motorcycles recently, drawing mixed reactions from the public.
TEMPE, Ariz. - Some motorcycles for the Tempe Police Department are now equipped with upright mounts for semi-automatic rifles.
Sergeant Ronald Elcock said the department tested the mounts last year and decided to install them on eight of its motorcycles.
In a high-risk situation, Elcock says motorcycles can usually get to a scene much quicker than patrol cars.
However, until now, motorcycle officers were only armed with handguns.
Elcock said that's been a growing problem because criminals are using more high-powered rifles and weaponry.
"We don’t want to go into those situations where we aren’t able to keep the public safe,” said Elcock.
Even though the AR-15’s are highly visible on the back of the motorcycles, Elcock says they are secured with special technology.
“There's a locking mechanism that would prevent anyone, except for the operator, to be able to get at the equipment,” said Alcock.
Some worry about the militaristic look of the AR-15’s mounted on the back of the motorcycles.
“There are people that maybe 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."