The History of the Madison Police Department Motorcycle Unit
The Madison Police Motor Unit had been around in the late 1930’s and was disbanded in the mid 1970’s due to officer injuries. At that time MPD had an active Traffic Unit since 2001 but no motorcycle component. In 2004, 3 members of the Traffic Team went to intensive motor training to ride our department’s one “parade duty” Harley Davidson Road King but Michael Beatty was the only one to pass that year. In 2005 we sent 2 more officers to motor school, they both passed, and the Traffic Unit traded the Road King for 2 Harley Davidson Electra Glides and the 3 of us rotated riding these bikes for traffic duty’s. In 2008 we increased our fleet to 3 HD Electra Glides and other than some graphic/decal changes every 3 years (the bikes are on 3 year leases) we have been riding the same models. As far as certified riders go we maintain 3 full time riders assigned to each of the bikes and a pool of part time certified riders (we currently have 4) that fill in on various special event assignment when the permanent riders are not available. Our certification started with sending officers to Northwestern University’s 80hr Basic Police Motor Officer training and have since switched to in-house training as I have taken over training duty’s once I became a Northwestern certified instructor in 2011.
Information and Photos provided by the Madison, WI Police Department