The History of the Salt Lake City Police Department Motorcycle Unit
Motorcycle Officers are responsible for traffic enforcement and special events, such as motorcades, races, and protests. These Officers and Sergeants are highly trained in all aspects of motorcycle safety. In addition, Motors are tasked with DUI enforcement and arrested over 1,000 drunk drivers in 2005.
Although the motor squad’s primary function is traffic control, they participate in numerous special events. This includes funeral escorts, honor guards, parades, running/walking events, DUI saturation enforcement, and dignitary escorts. Not only does the squad help with crowd control for parades, they perform precision formation riding drills in the parade. The Salt Lake City Police Motor Squad also has the best safety record in Utah.
To be a motor officer, one must be an officer with the department for eighteen months and must complete our in-house motor school. This school is considered to be one of the best in country. The two week school teaches the officer not only basic motor skills but how to provide law enforcement services from a motorcycle. Not only are motor skills put to the test, but the officer’s attitude and willingness to work as a team are among the criteria evaluated. These two weeks are considered extremely tough and only those who pass the school are placed on a list to be a motor officer.
Once an officer is selected to be a motor officer, they spend four intense weeks in Field Motor Training Officer Program. The “FMTO” training includes motor skills, in-field training, safety techniques, and other skills. Only when both training sessions are passed does the officer become a motor officer on the streets of Salt Lake City.
Our motor officers train twice yearly on skill riding and other motor skills. The motor officers ride year round in Salt Lake, weather permitting. The Salt Lake City Motor Squad provides the city with a unique and versatile service.
The Salt Lake City Police Department’s Motor Squad took top honors at the 3rd Annual Utah Highway Patrol Police Motorcycle Training and Competition, a two-day event held September 5 and 6, 2008, at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele.
The competition featured 55 riders from fourteen departments and three different states. Nine of the participants represented the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Motor Squad. The event provided an opportunity for these motor officers to gauge their skills and expertise against other agencies.
“Preparing and competing in this event is invaluable to our officers. It fosters teamwork and sharpens our riding skills,” said Sergeant Jeff Kendrick. Overall, the Salt Lake City Police Department Motor Squad’s performance was fantastic.
They demonstrated their skills with SLCPD teams taking first and second in the team ride:
1. Brandon Hansen, Robert Hawke, Jeff Kendrick, SLCPD.
2. Tyler Reinwand, Scott Smith, Lonnie Martinez, SLCPD.
3. Scott Pruden, Roger Griffis, Gary Caldwell, UHP.
The team ride required participants to run three technical cone patterns three times. Each officer had to ride all three patterns. Times were averaged to determine the final score.
SLCPD riders also finished well in the final rankings of the Harley Road King Class:
1. Brandon Hansen, SLCPD, 89.029 seconds
2. Robert Hawke, SLCPD, 90.268 seconds
3. Tyler Reinwand, SLCPD, 91.755 seconds
4. Jeff Kendrick, SLCPD, 92.032 seconds
5. Matthew Pitman, Weber Co., 92.448 seconds
6. Darren Austill, SLCPD, time unavailable
7. Jeff Loosle, SLCPD, time unavailable
8. Scott Smith, SLCPD, time unavailable
The ultimate test of skills occurred when all riders in the Harley Road King class and Electra Glide class competed against each other. The top three received plaques:
1. Brandon Hansen, SLCPD, 88.393 seconds
2. Jeff Kendrick, SLCPD, 89.600 seconds
3. Matthew Pitman, Weber Co., 89.797 seconds
The Salt Lake City Police Department is extremely proud of the motor officers and the results of their training program and work ethic. All participating agencies and officers should be proud of their skills and talent demonstrated during this event.
Information and Photos provided by the Salt Lake City, UT Police Department and by Sgt. J Kendrick.