The History of the Gainesville Police Department Motorcycle Unit
Lt. Don Dennis Traffic Safety Commander
Harley-Davidson “The Mounted Officer” Fall 2005
The Gainesville Police Department has been using Harley-Davidson Motorcycles since 1928. During that time period, the Department had one police car and four Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Officer C.E. Strickland became the first motor officer assigned to patrol the streets of the city. The Traffic Safety Team is currently comprised of 8 motorcycle officers and one traffic car. The primary function of the team is traffic enforcement to reduce the number of vehicle crashes, injuries and death. Two additional officers may be assigned for DUI enforcement through a Federal Grant.
The Department received first place (based on agency size) in Florida and second place in the Nation during the Buckle-Up Florida campaign due to efforts in DUI, seatbelt and child restraint enforcement. The Department worked with the University of Florida on their Later Gator detail that that provides bus service for students who wish to park downtown and not drive a motor vehicle. This event has greatly reduced the number of crashes during the evening hours.
Information and Photos provided by the Gainesville, FL Police Department