History

The museum will feature a police motorcycle from every decade and highlight the transition from horses to bicycles to motorcycles. The transition from bicycles to motorcycles was rather easy as early motorcycles were simply bicycles with engines.

With the invention of the motorcycle, rural areas that were rarely served by law enforcement were now part of a regular patrol. Very few departments utilized cars as motorcycles were less expensive and easier to maintain.

When motorcycles and cars were invented and soon became plentiful on the roadway, there were no traffic laws in existence. It soon became apparent that reckless and inattentive driving needed to be regulated and enforced. Early newspapers and trade magazines heralded the motor officer who brought in the most revenue and departments added motorcycles through the ticketing process.

The early motor officer was present for just about every momentous event that occurred during the early part of the last century. From presidential elections to heroes of their time: all were escorted by a contingent of motorcycle officers.

As the roaring 20’s came to a close, the country was struck by the great depression. Labor unrest was commonplace and the need for a rapid response force was critical to maintaining peace. Many departments formed riot squads of motorcycle officers able to respond to emergency situations quickly and efficiently.

With the advent of World War II and men being drafted in large numbers to fight the war, shortages in manpower were realized in every sector of the workforce. Many policemen were also drafted as deferments were few. We can find very little information on women as motor officers before World War II. Their contribution was great and their sacrifices plentiful.

In giving you a brief description of early motorcycle history, we hope to welcome you to our museum to explore the full history of the police motorcycle officer and the way that his role in society has changed through time.


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