Tempe police equip 8 motorcycles with assault weapons

Authorities say residents of a Phoenix suburb may see some police motorcycles with assault weapons mounted on the back.

Tempe police say eight motorcycles have been equipped with military-style AR-15 carbines to provide officers with more firepower should they need it.

Police Sgt. Ronald Elcock says motorcycle officers can respond quickly to calls and are often the first officers to arrive at a crime scene. He says the assault weapons provide added security to ensure the officers are not outgunned by suspects.

Elcock says the guns are locked onto the motorcycles. The barrels of the weapons are pointed toward the ground.

Several regular Tempe police vehicles have been outfitted with assault weapons for years.

Elcock says officers equipped with the high-powered guns go through 40 hours of additional training.