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Police Motorcycle Officers: 'Great Job, 10 Months Out of the Year' 
KPD Officer Jason Gardner knows firsthand just how intense the July heat can be.
Officer Jason Gardner

Police Lt. Brian Evans grins when asked about what it's like for motorcycle officers to patrol during the hottest parts of summer.

"Everyone thinks it's a great job, and they want it - 10 months out of the year," says KPD's Traffic Services Coordinator.

This month, City Blog is talking with City employees in different departments whose jobs require them to bear the brunt of summer's heat. What's a tougher assignment than sitting on a hot motorcycle on the side of the road in the middle of the day?

KPD Officer Jason Gardner, a nine-year veteran, traded in his patrol cruiser for a Harley Electra Glide at the start of summer. So Gardner knows firsthand just how intense the July heat can be.

Working wrecks and traffic control assignments can mean a 10-hour shift in the direct sun, with heat bouncing off the roadway. Wearing a dark uniform and a snug protective vest.

"And 200 degrees is coming off the engine," he says. 

Uncomfortable as it sounds, Gardner doesn't seem to mind the heat. He takes precautions: He eats a lot of small meals of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, and he hydrates, beginning the night before hitting the road.

"You have to know your body," he says. "The summer makes a huge difference. You continue to sweat, so I drink two gallons a day to replace what I lose."

So after hours in the hot sun, does he head into an air-conditioned restaurant for a sit-down lunch?

"I'm the world's worst for taking long breaks indoors," Gardner said. "I usually just pull off in the shade, pull out a salad and catch up on reports."

There's something else to know about Gardner: He's a Marathon runner, and he's training for a December Ironman competition. So even during his off time, he's out in the heat. He takes 10-mile practice runs five days a week. That's about 200 miles a month.

Gardner, who'd been riding motorcycles since he was 16, wanted to be a member of KPD's Blue Hawk Motorcycle Unit. "It's a special squad," he says.

Posted by evreeland On 25 July, 2018 at 6:07 PM