The DeSoto County Sheriff's Department Motor Division is comprised of deputies highly trained in motorcycle operations. Commonly referred to as the Motor Unit, or simply Motors, the Motor Division is led by Lieutenant Matthew Wilson, who ensures the wide-ranging needs of the unit are met. As one of the Sheriff's Department's specialty divisions, Motors falls under the command of Captain Juan Martinez, who is also a motor officer.
Duties & Responsibilities
The Motor Division fills a number of roles for the Sheriff's Department, not the least of which is performing escorts. These escorts include funerals, officials, sports teams and coaches, politicians, and more.
Other responsibilities include traffic enforcement, accident calls and various public relations events such as parades and school demonstrations.
Motor officers train regularly to keep their skills sharp. Motor school lasts for two weeks, but the schooling never truly ends with quarterly re-certifications and monthly training dates. Lt. Matthew Wilson, Sgt. Greg Stacks, and Deputy Brad Sutherlen are nationally accredited motor instructors who received their certifications from Northwestern University. They not only instruct motor school for new motor officers from the Desoto County Sheriff's Department, but also instruct for surrounding agencies in the Tri-State area.
Motor officers also compete with other motor officers in competitions known as "Motor Rodeos." These fun, fast-paced events pit highly skilled officers against each other in contests of speed and precision, team riding, slow riding and other challenges requiring not only skill, but also quick thinking. The Desoto County Sheriffs Department Motor Division has enjoyed some success in motor rodeos, bringing home top honors in several different divisions and events. While these events include fun competition for the riders, their main focus is to increase the elite skills needed to safely operate as a motor officer.