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Eugene drivers should watch for ‘simulated motorcades’ Wednesday

A sign on a building reads "City of Eugene police"
File photo
Eugene Police Department

Eugene drivers may be excused if they think the city is being visited by a series of dignitaries on Wednesday.

That’s because the Eugene Police Department is holding a training session on how to conduct motorcades. The students will be law enforcement officers from other agencies around the state.

Drivers should be prepared for rolling roadblocks that could pop up anywhere around town.

“Please have a little bit of patience," said Eugene Police Lieutenant Gregg Magnus. "It’s going to be quick. Usually the intersections aren’t going to be blocked for more than a minute or so, and then you’ll be proceeding on your path to wherever you’re going.”

Training is important, said Magnus, because there are a lot of moving parts—literally—in a successful motorcade.

"It's almost like a leapfrog," he said. "(Officers) will bounce ahead, catch an intersection as they go through, and then as the motorcade proceeds past, then they'll eventually have to catch back up."

Motorcades are sometimes used for visiting presidential candidates, although Eugene doesn't see too many of those during a typical year. More often, said Magnus, the techniques are used to help football teams get in and out of Autzen Stadium. Eugene officers also sometimes assist other agencies with motorcades, such as during the October, 2022 visit by President Joe Biden to Portland.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”