Police Motor Units
The History of Motorcycle Law Enforcement

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Dickson County Sheriff's Office


In an effort to reduce traffic crashes and their related injuries and fatalities, the Dickson County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s Office incorporated a 2012 Harley-Davidson FLHTP Electra-Glide Police Motorcycle into its newly developed Traffic Safety Awareness and Education Program. The motor unit was purchased from Bost Harley-Davidson, of Nashville, Tennessee, with drug forfeiture funds; therefore, it was achieved at no expense to county taxpayers.  
Following many months of thorough research, Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe chose Harley-Davidson for various reasons, including its extensive record of providing motor units to law enforcement agencies around the world, its large network of sales and service providers, competitive pricing, and its valuable support of fallen law enforcement officers and their families.  
Harley-Davidson’s support of fallen officers and their families is especially touching to Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe and the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office, following the recent tragic loss of one of their own. In June 2011, Deputy Richard “Keith” Bellar (27) was shot and killed after observing what appeared to be a minor traffic crash. It was later determined that Deputy Bellar had disrupted an aggravated assault incident involving the use of a motor vehicle; wherein an estranged spouse intended to kill his wife. Deputy Bellar’s immediate presence and swift actions saved the intended victim from lethal harm and for that he was awarded the Medal of Valor, posthumously.   In honor of Deputy Bellar’s ultimate sacrifice, and in recognition of the contributions he made to improving traffic safety within Dickson County as a radar instructor, Stalker Radar generously donated a radar to be used on the motor unit in his memory.



While recently commenting about his experience with Harley-Davidson, Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe stated, “We were in the infancy of implementing a traffic and safety awareness program for the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee.  We needed a focal point to increase public awareness and draw attention to our new program.  Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Bumpus Harley-Davidson of Jackson, Tennessee, invited us to attend a police motorcycle demonstration along with the Jackson (Tennessee) Police Department.  After seeing the research and development implemented into each bike, it sold itself.  We then chose Bost Harley-Davidson of Nashville, Tennessee, for our sales and service needs. Bost continues to prove its commitment to partnering with law enforcement in our area.  They stepped up and introduced us to (Harley-Davidson’s) commitment and tradition that has stood the test of time.  In law enforcement, it’s a comfort knowing someone has your back.  From one brotherhood to another…….THANKS!” 

 

The motor unit is an integral component of the Sheriff’s Office’s Traffic Safety Awareness and Education Program. The program is intended to be a highly visible, community-oriented program that serves many purposes, including raising awareness about the traffic dangers facing motorists within Dickson County, educating motorists about safe driving practices and applicable laws, and administering corrective action when necessary. 

 Following a competitive selection process, Deputy Paul Montgomery was chosen to be the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office’s first-ever Motor Deputy. Deputy Montgomery completed Northwestern University’s 80-Hour Police Motorcycle Operator Training Course in Atlanta, Georgia, and was the class recipient of the Scott R. Rothermel Award, which is intended to recognize the “Most Improved” student for his or her “outstanding effort and perseverance, and the demonstration of the courage to face and overcome challenges”.  

Deputy Montgomery recently remarked about the advantages of operating a motor unit, compared to a traditional patrol car. Montgomery said that the greatest benefit he has experienced so far is the close contact that the motor unit allows him to have with the community. Montgomery said that the motor unit appeals to a wide range of people, young, old, male, female, and of all ethnic groups. Montgomery said that he often has citizens approach him for the purpose of talking about the motorcycle. Montgomery stated, “Some roll down their windows at red lights, even when it’s cold outside, just to talk.” Montgomery said that the motor unit has proven to be a wonderful tool to break down the communications barrier that sometimes exists between law enforcement and the community. Montgomery suggested that positive communications are essential to the success of community-oriented programs such as Dickson County’s Traffic Safety Awareness and Education Program, and proudly said that the motor unit is helping to accomplish that.   

Montgomery said that the motor unit offers practical and cost-savings advantages, as well. He suggested that he can better enforce traffic laws upon the county’s narrow two-lane roads, due to the fact that the motor unit can be maneuvered in confined areas more easily. Montgomery stated that he was often disappointed when he was unable to react to dangerous drivers while operating a traditional patrol car, but suggested that it was not always possible to safely do so. Montgomery commented that he can effectively turn his motor unit around for the purpose of stopping those dangerous drivers now. Montgomery said that the motor unit has also proven to be much more fuel efficient than a traditional patrol car. He indicated that it has saved county taxpayers almost three-hundred dollars in fuel costs during its first month on the road.  

The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office intends to operate much of its Traffic Safety Awareness and Education Program with funds obtained from grants and charitable donations; therefore, resulting in additional savings to county taxpayers. One donation of such was the motor unit’s design graphics, which were donated by Dickson Graphics, of Dickson, Tennessee. If you have any questions about Dickson County’s motor unit or Traffic Safety Awareness and Education Program, you may contact Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe or Deputy Paul Montgomery at (615) 789-4140 or trafficsafety@dicksoncounty.net


Information and Photos provided by Dickson County, TN Police Department