Police celebrate new gear - courtesy of Jimmy Binns
Police officers swarmed the Art Museum steps yesterday. But they weren't flocking to a crime scene. They were there to celebrate the donation of 21 motorcycles, 21 mountain bikes and 100 shotguns to the department, through the work of Jimmy Binns.
Police officers swarmed the Art Museum steps yesterday. But they weren't flocking to a crime scene.
They were there to celebrate the donation of 21 motorcycles, 21 mountain bikes and 100 shotguns to the department, through the work of Jimmy Binns.
Binns, a police patron and humanitarian, founded the CopWheels program in 2007 to raise money for law-enforcement equipment and to create memorials for fallen officers.
"CopWheels' mission is to make sure our police officers are armed with state-of-the-art equipment," Binns said.
Binns' efforts have brought 97 motorcycles, 100 mountain bikes and 100 shotguns to the city and surrounding counties.
District Attorney Seth Williams said that having gracious partners like the bike donors solves a problem most people only talk about.
"Unless you are willing to be a part of the solution, you forfeit your right to complain," Williams said.
Among those who donated the money for new Harley-Davidson motorcycles were three brothers from Montgomery County - Charles, Don and Hank Dolaway - who have no affiliation with the Police Department.
"These men who ride those white cycles are really the driving force behind safety on the highways," said Charles Dolaway. "We figure, keep it safe. Our kids are on those highways."
The motorcycles will be distributed to Highway Patrol, the guns will go to the Police Academy for training and the bikes will go to the strike squads in the city, Commissioner Charles Ramsey said.
"In terms of city budgets, it makes it very difficult when it comes to purchasing equipment," he said. "Without the generosity of people like Jimmy Binns, it simply would not be possible for us to update our equipment on a regular basis."
To commemorate the occasion, police officers paraded the bikes to South Street, where Binns and his supporters celebrated over pizza.