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Motorcycle units coming back to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

Money from Arizona’s medical marijuana program will help the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office bring back motorcycle patrols for the first time in more than a decade.

The agency has been given a six-figure grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has not had motorcycle patrols since 2008 due to a lack of deputies and funding.

In a news release, Sheriff Paul Penzone said he’s heard a lot about dangerous drivers. He called motorcycles one of the most effective tools to promote traffic safety.

Penzone’s deputies will ride five new motorcycles thanks to a $167,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, which drew a $10 million transfer from Arizona’s medical marijuana fund, after voters legalized recreational cannabis.

The highway safety office still has more than 40% of the money left to give out as grants.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.