History: How Long Have the Police Used Motorcycles?

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Have you ever been driving along and then hear sirens and flashing lights behind you? Confused to not see a police car behind you? You were probably confused because you were being pulled over by a motorcycle cop. You probably didn’t even see where they were hiding before they pulled you over. As much as it sucks to get pulled over, do not think that these motorcycle cops are a new force. No, motorcycle cops have been around since the early 1900s. As the automobile industry continues to change, so do these wheels. This article will look at the history of Motorcycle cops. We will also see where they hope to be in the future.

It is actually a little unclear exactly what city had their first start with a motorcycle unit, but most people credit the Detroit Police Department with buying the first bike for a motorcycle cop in 1908. Their bike of choice? That would be none other than Harley Davidson. A few years later, the first organized motorcycle patrol came from the Berkeley Police Department. By the time World War One was over motor cycle patrols were common in the larger cities. They offered departments a more fuel efficient; less costly version on wheels that could navigate better in crowds than a car.

Different countries rely on different manufacturers to produce the bikes for their patrol units. The most popular in the United States are made by: Harley Davidson, Kawasaki, Honda and BMW. Production on Kawasaki bikes stopped in 2005 but they are trying to break back into the police market with newer models. Harley Davidson and BMW are always in strong competition with each other as far as their bikes are concerned. Currently, BMW is used on more patrol squads due to their lighter build and better braking.

Harley Davidson has also been instrumental in providing their bike to a war cause. They have donated bikes to the various wars and continued their production even after being hit hard with the great depression. In 2001 Harley Davidson also donated their bikes to the officers on NYC to better assist them. Harley Davidson also teamed up with North Westerns Center for Public Safety and have put together a safety course and officer training for police officers.

As we move toward the future, it is likely that you will continue to see more motorcycle cops. They have proven the fact that they are more fuel efficient and are a little more manageable in a traffic situation. They will also continue to be used in leading traffic situations.

Just like all citizens that drive motorcycles, police officers must also have their bikes insured. Motor vehicles can be very dangerous if not handled properly and could affect drivers and pedestrians around them. If you are thinking of becoming a motor police patrol officer then check with your local department and see if they offer any classes or have opening spots. After your training is complete you will be able to follow in the steps of officers that have been riding around on the bikes for over a hundred years.