North Dakota Highway Patrol

North Dakota Highway Patrol

The History of the North Dakota Highway Patrol Shoulder Patch

The North Dakota Patrol symbol is a profile of Red Tomahawk, a Teton Dakotah (Sioux) Indian who had lived on his land near the Cannonball River on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation near Mandan, North Dakota.

As a Sioux warrior, Red Tomahawk participated in several tribal wars which stemmed from hunting to territorial disputes between tribes.  However, with signing of the Treaty of Minehanska, all acts of hostility between whites and Indians were to be forgiven and forgotten.  Red Tomahawk, the sub chief, became a friend of the whites and encouraged harmony among all Americans, native and immigrant.

 The North Dakota Highway Patrol officially adopted the Profile of Red Tomahawk as the patrol vehicle door emblem and department symbol in 1951.

The History of the North Dakota Highway Patrol Motorcycle Unit

The North Dakota Highway Patrol was created in 1935.  Initially five officers were appointed to the department and the organization was to be called the “Highway Police”.  Their duties were to enforce the provisions of the laws of the public highways and the operation of motor vehicles.

 The officers traveled the state in special factory-built coupes, each of which was equipped with a radio tuned to long wave.  It was anticipated that radio stations throughout the state would participate by using their long wave stations to report emergencies to the traveling highway patrolmen.

 Patrol policy during initial stages was to emphasize safety and conduct intensive educational campaigns.  The policies were designed to obtain public acceptance, cooperation, and to make the motoring public safety conscious.

 July 1, 1983, the Highway Department Truck Regulatory Division was merged with the North Dakota Highway Patrol.  The Patrol now has a major responsibility for commercial motor carrier permits, weights and measures, and enforcement of truck safety regulations.

 For over fifty years the North Dakota Highway Patrol has been a symbol of service and protection, and motorists in North Dakota have turned with confidence to their Highway Patrol during emergencies and times of need.

Information and Photos provided by the North Dakota Highway Patrol.