BCSO spent $124K on motorcycles in Feb. It has yet to use them

Administration blames lengthy delay on 'perfect storm' of circumstances

By Dillon Collier - Investigative Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Bexar County Sheriff's Office officials confirmed this month that five motorcycles purchased by the agency in February have yet to be entered into service. 

The five 2018 Honda Goldwings, bought from an area power sports dealership February 28 for $124,316.80, were meant to be the first step in modernizing BCSO's motorcycle unit.

Instead, BCSO officials say a "perfect storm" of delays has caused the motorcycles to remain not ready for street use more than nine months after they were purchased.

"It's frustrating, not only for us in administration, but for the guys who ride these motorcycles," said BCSO Assistant Chief Deputy Dale Bennett.

Bennett said issues first surfaced when Kawasaki, the brand currently used by BCSO's motorcycle unit, decided to get out of the law enforcement motorcycle business.

The agency eventually settled on Honda as its next provider, according to BCSO officials. However, the county's original 2017 bid for five new motorcycles that were law enforcement ready, a term called "turn key," came back with no bidders.

A second, simplified bid was successful, but the motorcycles were delivered in late April still needing a lot of work, including the addition of lights, sirens and an equipment box.

The 2018 model Goldwing, which BCSO officials called more compact than the 2017 model, has caused fabrication issues when vendors have attempted to add the equipment needed to make them ready for service.

As of last week, all five motorcycles remained at Industrial Communications, a county vendor near downtown.

A manager at the shop told a KSAT 12 news crew it was not allowed to shoot footage of two of the BCSO motorcycles that could be seen from the street, because the company does sensitive work on undercover units for multiple law enforcement agencies, even though the company's bay door was open and facing a busy public street.

Instead, BCSO officials had one of the motorcycles driven to the jail so that the KSAT 12 crew could see what work still needs to be done on it.

Bennett said he was unable to provide a timeline of when the five motorcycles will be ready.

Three other Honda Goldwings purchased late last month will complete the agency's move away from Kawasaki, once they are ready for service.

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