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PSLPD motorcycle officers will get new full-face helmets after officer suffered injuries in February crash

'God forbid one of us ever go down again,' one officer said
Posted at 10:00 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 00:12:06-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Port St. Lucie motorcycle police officers will soon be wearing new, more protective helmets after an officer suffered injuries in a crash earlier this year.

Officer Joseph Byrne has been spent the majority of 2021 recovering from an accident when a piece of a tire from a semi-trailer separated and hit his bike.

Byrne and three other motor unit officers were on their way to South Florida for the funerals of two FBI agents when the accident happened on Feb. 6.

"The big thing I remember is going down and sliding face down on the Turnpike," said Byrne.

The crash happened on the Florida Turnpike between Stuart and Jupiter.

"The officer behind me said the piece shot out almost perpendicular to me and hit my motor and I went down instantly," said Byrne. "I never saw the piece that caused me to go down."

The previous model helmets were half-faced helmets, meaning only a piece of plexiglass was guarding the jaw and chin.

Byrne suffered a road rash on his face and had to get stitches on his lips.

His hand required surgery.

"I was bleeding but overall I was knocked unconscious for a little bit," said Byrne. "I went in and out of consciousness until the ambulance got there."

The new helmets cover the entire face but are retractable for when officers need to speak with the public.

Sgt. Keith Boham, Public Information Officer at PSLPD, said the other three motor-unit officers will have theirs after Oct. 1 and that each helmet is roughly $700.

Byrne already has one.

"We are the only police department on the Treasure Coast who's motor unit will have these full-face helmets," said Boham.

"It definitely has a lot more padding and a lot more cushioning. God forbid one of us ever go down again," said Byrne.