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Police Motor Units
The History of Motorcycle Law Enforcement

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Carlsbad, CA Police Department


The History of the Carlsbad Police Department Motorcycle Unit

Upon incorporation as a city in July 1952, the City of Carlsbad hired its first police officer in October of the same year, Chief of Police Max Palkowski. The chief was the only member of the department and had a desk at the State of California Parks and Recreation Department on Highway 101.

Only 32 years old when he assumed the responsibility of his new job, Chief Palkowski immediately expanded his one-man police force by recruiting volunteer reserve police officers. The city could not afford a vehicle so Chief Palkowski pressed his own vehicle into service as the first city police car by placing a siren on its roof. The City of Carlsbad Police Department was on its way now with one goal in mind: to protect and serve the city residents.

In September 1952, the city hired one officer and in January 1953 hired two more and purchased its first police car. For the next few years, the city hired one officer each fiscal year.

The First Carlsbad Motorcycle Patrol 1950's

Photo by Ernie Anderson


Information and Photos provided by the Carlsbad, CA Police Department