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Rochester Getting Police Motorcycle, New Weather Siren

The City Council approved both this week.

Rochester residents will soon have a new warning signal for severe weather.

A new siren will be installed by Oakland County in a parking lot behind downtown Rochester. It's part of an interlocal agreement between the city and the county to expand the county's outdoor severe weather warning system.

The city has three warning sirens: at the Department of Public Works, at and at the . These areas of the city are already covered by the severe weather warning system in Rochester Hills, according to Rochester City Manager Jaymes Vettraino. However, the southeast section of the city is not covered by any warning system. This new siren will cover that area.

The siren will cost the city $17,250 to install, but the city will see thousands of dollars in savings each year by turning off the other sirens, Vettraino said. The new siren will be maintained by the county's emergency management division.

Officers to patrol on a Harley

Around Rochester, police officers ride in cars, on bikes and on a Segway. Soon, you'll see them on a motorcycle, too.

Rochester City Council this week approved the purchase of a Harley-Davidson police motorcycle. It was part of the fiscal year 2012 budget; it will be purchased from ABC Harley-Davidson, based in Waterford, for $14,450.

"A motorcycle is a very mobile and agile vehicle," said Steve Schettenhelm, the city's chief of police. "When traffic is backed up in an area, it's easier to get around on a motorcycle."

Schettenhelm also called the motorcycle patrol a "natural extension" of the department's community policing philosophy.

"As we've seen with the Segway, it will be a unique and very approachable method," he said.

Fire department gets painted

The Rochester Fire Department received a new roof in the fall. Next up: a fresh coat of paint.

City Council members this week approved a request to pay Better Painting Co. of Rochester Hills $14,775 to paint the station. In the 2012 budget, $20,000 was allotted for the improvement.

The Fire Department will be painted with white satin Sherwin-Williams paint.

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