Sheriff obtains surplus bikes

Posted Aug. 12, 2009, at 8:25 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:11 p.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — The Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department has taken possession of six off-road motorbikes that previously were used by the Marines in Operation Desert Storm.

The military surplus bikes were picked up in Texas last month by Deputy Dave Smiley of the Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department flew Smiley to Texas and, once there, he obtained a transport vehicle to bring the bikes to Maine. The cost of the trip — including meals, lodging, tolls, the flight and the rental vehicle — was about $2,122 plus wages, according to receipts filed with the Piscataquis County office.

The bikes are just the latest items the Sheriff’s Department has acquired since 1992 from the military surplus program.

“We probably saved well over $100,000 [for the county] over the years” by taking advantage of the surplus program, Sheriff John Goggin said Wednesday.

The bikes, which have 300 to 600 miles on their odometers, are valued at about $2,800 each but require some repair and new batteries, according to Goggin. He said he does not yet have an estimate for the repairs.

Goggin said his department began acquiring military surplus equipment in 1992 when bases were being closed throughout New England. Since military bases started closing in 1992, Goggin said he and Chief Deputy Dale Clukey had traveled all over New England and brought back equipment for the county, including generators, surveillance equipment, night-vision goggles, body armor, all-terrain vehicles, filing cabinets, typewriters and clothing.

“We’ve brought truckloads after truckloads of stuff back to Piscataquis County,” Goggin said. Some of the items were shared with other law enforcement agencies throughout the county, he noted.

Goggin said it’s likely three of the bikes will be repaired and used for backwoods marijuana eradication efforts for about a year. At the end of the year, Goggin said he hopes to sell the six bikes to raise enough money to purchase a snowmobile for the department. The department now uses privately owned snowmobiles for camp checks in remote areas during the winter months, he said.

Everything the department has received over the years has been put to good use, Goggin said.

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