Police Motor Units
The History of Motorcycle Law Enforcement

 "Virtual Museum"

 

 

 

 

Maryville Police Department


AS FAR BACK AS THE HISTORY OF THE MARYVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT GOES, WE HAVE UTILIZED POLICE MOTORCYCLES. CHIEF JOHN BLUFORD, THE FIRST MPD CHIEF, WAS AN AVID MOTORCYCLE RIDER AND PURCHASED A 1940'S MODEL HARLEY DAVIDSON POLICE MOTORCYCLE. HE USED THIS BIKE FOR SEVERAL DECADES. IN THE LATE 70'S AND EARLY 80'S MPD PURCHASED A KAWASAKI 1000 POLICE MOTORCYCLE. MOTOR OFFICER JOHN MICHAEL CALLAHAN II, OPERATED THE MOTORCYCLE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS. TRAGICALLY ON February 21, 1981 OFFICER CALLAHAN WAS STOPPED WAITING TO MAKE A TURN, WHILE OPERATING HIS POLICE MOTOR, AND WAS STRUCK FROM BEHIND BY A DRUNK DRIVER. OFFICER CALLAHAN DIED.  
THE MARYVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT DID WITHOUT A MOTOR UNIT FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AFTER THAT INCIDENT. CHIEF TONY JAY CRISP STARTED A TRAFFIC UNIT AT THE MARYVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT IN 2003. WE WERE THE FIRST AGENCY IN THE AREA TO START A TRAFFIC UNIT ON OUR OWN, WITHOUT GRANT MONEY OR HELP FROM OUTSIDE. CHIEF CRISP REALIZED THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING SPECIALIZED TRAINING AND DESIGNATED PERSONNEL TO ADDRESS THE GROWING PROBLEM OF TRAFFIC CRASHES, INJURIES, AND CONGESTION.  CHIEF CRISP ALSO SAW THE NEED TO REINTRODUCE THE POLICE MOTORCYCLE TO OUR INVENTORY. HE SAW THE VERSATILITY OF THE MOTOR AS AN ASSET TO WHAT WE WERE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH WITH OUR TRAFFIC UNIT. WE ADDED FOUR HARLEY DAVIDSON POLICE MOTORCYCLES TO OUR FLEET, AND CONDUCTED THE INITIAL TRAINING COURSE IN 2004. THIS WAS THE SECOND BIRTH OF THE MARYVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT MOTOR UNIT. WE HAVE SINCE, ADDED 3 MOTOR INSTRUCTORS TO OUR AGENCY, AND CURRENTLY UTILIZE FIVE HARLEY DAVIDSON ROAD KING POLICE EDITIONS.
  THE NOSTALGIA OF A MOTOR UNIT IS IMPORTANT, IN THAT WE REMEMBER WHERE WE CAME FROM, AND HOW WE GOT WHERE WE ARE TODAY. WE REMEMBER THE SACRIFICES OF THE MOTOR OFFICERS BEFORE US. THIS ALSO HELPS US STAY FOCUSED ON THE PRIDE AND DEDICATION TO OUR MOTOR UNIT TODAY.


Information and Photos provided by Maryville, TN Police Department