OPP bike team's passion for precision
OPP Sgt. Lise Grenier, 40, is the only woman on the force's precision motorcycle team, the Golden Helmets
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Q. Why does the OPP have a precision motorcycle team?
A. The Golden Helmets are a huge community service tool. We promote the OPP, we promote motorcycle safety and it’s used as a recruiting tool to allow the public to come out and see the riders, talk to the riders. …
It gives the officers and OPP an opportunity to talk to the public and give them an insight into what being a police officer is all about.
Being on the team is elite. It’s such a proud moment when you’re conducting the performance and you’ve got all the kids watching you.
Each member has a hockey card with their photo on it. We sell hats and T-shirts and we donate about $10,000 to a kids charity every year.
Q. How many Golden Helmets are there?
A. There are about 20 members on the team. That includes a commissioned officer (OPP deputy commissioner John Carson), a ride master, a mechanic and also a commentator. Everyone on the team with the exception of the mechanic is an active police officer. … I am the ride master and I also operate the motorcycle on various other duties.
Q. How often do you perform?
A. This year, we’re performing 22 times. We do community service events, charity events, fall parades, potato festivals, pumpkin festivals â€“ we do it all.
Q. How long have you been on the team?
A. I joined in 1997. I took the motorcycle training course in 1992. I never sat on a bike before I took this OPP course. I love it. It’s a passion now. I also teach the motorcycle training.
Q. What kind of bikes do OPP officers ride?
A. Harley Davidson 1690cc engines. The same ones used in traffic patrol.
Q. Have you ever had an accident or been injured?
A. I had an accident doing a funeral escort in 1995. I was off regular duties for eight months.
Q. So what does a Golden Helmets performance look like?
A. The team conducts a 30-minute performance. They take their motorcycles through a series of complex patterns.
We don’t do daredevil acts or anything like that. It’s just tight skilled manoeuvres. There are 14 members to conduct the performance.