Meet the first female supervisor of Cleveland Police Motorcycle Unit

Meet the first female motorcycle unit supervisor

CLEVELAND - Sgt. Stephanie Murphy used to be a tow lift driver at a factory but then applied to the Cleveland Police Department and has been on the force for 18 years. 

During that time she worked patrol and in the Vice unit but a year and a half ago she was promoted and eventually moved to traffic. What she didn't expect was to become the very first female supervisor of the 25 member motorcycle unit. 

Sgt. Murphy is no stranger to challenge. She's a certified fitness coach, personal trainer and Yoga instructor during her free time.  She's also grandmother to two boys. 

When she took over the Motorcycle unit this summer riding police bikes wasn't a job requirement. But Sgt. Murphy knew in order to lead, she had to be part of the pack. So she signed herself up for the two week grueling training course. 

The Police Motorcycle course is brutal. Many officers who apply to join the unit often can't pass the course.  Officers must maneuver Harley-Davidson Road Kings in a variety of situations, many of them extremely tight fits and turns.  Dropping the bike is common, but the first test is picking it up.  If you can't lift the 800 pound machine, you don't make it past the first day.  

Officer Frank Leyva has been in the unit 21 years. He's now the instructor for new members. He says Sgt. Murphy gave 110% to the program.  The only problem is that she had to wait to find motorcycle gear to fit her.  She's 5'3 and only the third woman to ever ride in the program.  There wasn't gear small enough for her fit frame.

Now she's fully outfitted and has been assigned her own bike and that first Harley she had in her garage has been traded in for a bigger one. 

So remember, just because winter is coming doesn't mean Cleveland Police put their motorcycles away.  As long as the roads are clear, they'll don heated gear and get out on the road.  So please, watch out for them.  

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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