(Update: adding video)
Redmond Officer Landon Rasmussen has been regularly riding a motorcycle for 3 1/2 years.
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- It's not every day that you see a police officer in Deschutes County riding a motorcycle on the job.
But if you have, it's likely to have been Redmond Police Officer Landon Rasmussen.
“I get a lot of positive comments, especially when I ride the motorcycle,” Rasmussen told NewsChannel 21 this week.
That's because there's only two designated motorcycle officers in the county at the moment, Rasmussen in Redmond and the other is in Bend. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office does not currently have any motorcycle officers.
Rasmussen joined Redmond police in 2012. He switched to the Traffic Division in 2017, a special assignment at the department, and became an endorsed motorcycle rider.
To become an endorsed rider, Rasmussen had to pass a two-week training course, which he said is not something everyone succeeds at.
“I probably crashed between 100 and 150 times," Rasmussen said. "You learn to ride a motorcycle to its absolute limit of its capability."
Once you pass the course, you receive an endorsed motor wing badge, something Rasmussen now wears every day on his police vest.
“When you do pass, you get to wear these motor wings, which I’m really proud of," he said.
Rasmussen said he practices every two weeks, and once a year travels to the police academy in Salem for more training.
Because it's considered a special assignment, Rasmussen is Redmond's only designated motorcycle rider at the moment. There are six other officers at the department who are also endorsed, but don't work in traffic.
It's a position that comes with its advantages and dangers.
“The main advantage is probably size and mobility," Rasmussen said. “But I can’t afford to get into a crash on a motorcycle. If somebody hits me, I don’t have air bags and a roll cage and all the things that a car provides you. So you are just really switched on.”
In 2005, a Redmond motorcycle officer was rear-ended and has dealt with back issues ever since.
Since working in the Traffic Division and riding a motorcycle is usually a three-year assignment, Rasmussen's time's on two wheels for the department will be coming to an end.
“Motorcycles are cool, and people like to see them," he said. "They are a great tool to interact with the community, and that’s something I’m going to miss when I leave the traffic team.”
But Rasmussen will keep his motor wings and still will be able to ride a motorcycle if needed.