Motor Unit

The first American police motorcycle patrol unit is reported to have been started by the Detroit Police Department in 1908 after receiving their first shipment of four Harley-Davidson motorcycles. This same year (1908), the Evanston, Illinois Police Department purchased an Excelsior-Henderson motorcycle for patrol purposes. Evanston Police Department’s first motorcycle officer was Leo Larkin and his fellow officers started referring to him as “Motor” Officer Larkin. This is the first reported time the nickname of “Motor” was used to refer to motorcycle patrol officers. 

Motorcycles are highly maneuverable and their high acceleration response capabilities make them excellent tools for traffic law enforcement. The Florham Park Police Department purchased its first motor in 2007, a Harley Davidson Road King and in 2010 it purchased a Harley Davidson Electra Glide. One great advantage possessed by Police Motor Units is the ability to access areas a standard patrol car cannot go. A Motor Unit’s ability to maneuver through traffic jams allows them to respond to calls much faster than traditional squad cars. The enforcement capabilities of motor units are another advantage. For example, a properly trained motor officer can turn the motorcycle around within a lane and a half (18 ft.) in order to stop the violator. This capability allows the motor unit to carry out his duties with less hindrance to traffic. Police Motorcycles are excellent for conducting police escorts. In addition to looking extremely professional, the motor unit’s size can be used as an advantage if passing maneuvers are necessary. Police Motorcycles are excellent for public relations. Our motor units are also regularly called upon to participate in Motorcades for dignitaries, funeral escorts, parades, and many other events.