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Lieutenant's Motorcycle Skills Earn Agency New Bike

Date Added: November 07, 2013 10:00 pm

Lieutenant's Motorcycle Skills Earn Agency New Bike Image

Brandon Haught
Public Information Office

When it comes to police motorcycle skills, Volusia County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Eric Westfall is about as good as it gets. Westfall proved that once again recently, taking the top honors in the individual riding competition during Harley-Davidson’s nationwide Police Skills and Training Competition in Milwaukee, WI. The top spot not only earned Westfall some serious bragging rights. It also came with a very useful and valuable prize -- a 2014 Harley-Davidson police motorcycle that was awarded to the Sheriff’s Office.

Video of Lieutenant Westfall’s winning ride

On Thursday the Volusia County Council formally accepted the donated motorcycle, valued at $18,000, but not before joining Sheriff Ben Johnson in giving Westfall a hearty pat on the back. First, Council members were treated to a viewing of a two-and-a-half minute video that captured Westfall’s winning ride as he weaved in and out of cones and sharp turns at extremely slow speeds that made it an extreme challenge to maintain control of the bike. “That was some very fine riding,” said Council member Pat Northey. “Wow! That was pretty impressive.” Sheriff Johnson couldn’t agree more. “The job that Eric did was just outstanding,” the Sheriff told the assembled Council members during Thursday’s meeting in DeLand. “We’re real proud to have him here.”

Not one to seek the limelight, Westfall was typically low-key and humble in accepting the accolades. In fact, it was County Manager James Dinneen who insisted on bringing Westfall before the Council after hearing of his exploits. Westfall entered the competition on his own time, taking vacation leave in order to go. “To do something that made us look that good, and for you to do it without asking for anything, that’s the most impressive part to me,” said Dinneen. “I really felt it was important that the Council get to see the caliber of the employees we have -- not just their professional credentials, but the quality of the people that we have working for us.”

A 20-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, Westfall is assigned as an assistant district commander of the agency’s Deltona law enforcement operations. Sheriff Johnson, who presented Westfall last month with the agency’s medal of merit, pointed out that his feat in Milwaukee was even more impressive given the fact that he rides and trains part-time and was facing full-time motorcycle officers from all over the United States and Canada. “We’re just so honored to have you as a part of our force here,” said Council member Joyce Cusack. “We thank you and we congratulate you.”

After all of the glowing comments, the Council voted unanimously to accept the Harley. “We now have a motorcycle,” announced Council Chair Jason Davis from the dais immediately after the vote. The Sheriff’s Office is expected to take possession of the new bike in about two weeks. “I want to thank the Sheriff for providing me the opportunity to represent not only the Sheriff’s Office, but the county, at this prestigious event,” added Westfall. “Thank you all for taking the time to recognize me for that.”

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