Muk PD is back on 2 wheels

First motorcycle in the department in about 7 years
By Brandon Gustafson | Aug 28, 2019
Photo by: Brandon Gustafson

Very soon, one Mukilteo Police officer will be trading in four wheels for two, as the Mukilteo Police Department will have a motorcycle officer for the first time in roughly seven years.

Chris Perisho will be the officer making the swap from four wheels to two wheels and a helmet in the next week or so.

"I'm really excited. It'll be fun," he said. "The training was fun, too."

Perisho went through training earlier this year and finished in June, and, if things go according to plan, he'll be taking the department's new bike, a 2008 Honda (complete with a new wrap from Wicked Wraps) onto Mukilteo streets around the time school starts Wednesday, Sept. 4.

"We still have a few small things like emergency lights, and some radio and communication things that need updated," Perisho said. "It's all inbound."

Perisho said he did some pre-training with the Lynnwood Police Department before going to the actual training course for two weeks at the end of June.

He spent a lot of time doing slow-speed cone work as well as high-speed braking.

Some of the more fun experiences, he said, came through group rides from Arlington to Bellingham, and during a longer ride to Shelton from Arlington.

"With Shelton, there was a heavy emphasis on high-speed handling, and in Arlington, it was more of a focus on the day-to-day patrols that come with being on a bike," Perisho said.

Perisho's role in the Mukilteo Police Department is primarily traffic enforcement, he said.

"I'm with the traffic unit, and it's cool to have a little bit of hybrid role (in the department)," he said. "I spend the majority of my time covering things that are traffic related, like collisions, DUIs, and those sort of things."

Ideally, having the bike will make things easier for traffic enforcement.

"It let's me be more mobile," he said. "With traffic enforcement and just patrols in general, I'm able to cut through traffic a little easier."

The goal with his job, at the end of the day, is safety.

"Bike or not, I want to encourage safe driving and reduce high speeds, people not paying attention to the road, being on their phones. We want to keep everyone on the road safe, not just in school zones," he said.

Perisho lives in Mukilteo, and said he knows about the traffic issues that many residents are concerned about, such as speeding in neighborhoods and people cutting into the ferry line.

"With the ferry, especially this time of year, I'm spending time dealing with people cutting into the ferry lane," he said. "It happens and some people are used to it, but when it's backed up and someone cuts in front of you when you've been waiting for an hour, that's when we get some calls."

Another area the department receives a lot of calls on is with school zones. This year, at least for the first few weeks of the 2019-2020 school year, you can expect to see more emphasis on obeying traffic rules in school zones.

"There's going to be a lot of emphasis in the school zones early on," he said. "We want to set the tone. There's going to be a lot of kids walking in the morning and afternoons. Even detectives are going to be in uniform patrolling."

In Perisho's case, a change in his schedule will allow him to patrol school zones earlier in the morning, when kids are getting to school

"I'm starting earlier in the day in September, which will allow me to cover more school zones," he said.

In Mukilteo, there are two areas with school zones. One by Olympic View Middle School and Mukilteo Elementary in Old Town, and then in Harbour Pointe, where Kamiak High School, Harbour Pointe Middle School, Columbia Elementary, and Endeavour Elementary are located.

"The one by OV, it's pretty small, so I tend to spend more time in Harbour Pointe because it's larger and there's the four schools," Perisho said.

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