The History of the Sioux Falls Police Department Motorcycle Unit
The Sioux Falls Police Department has had a Motor Unit since the early 1940’s. As seen in the photo, Harley-Davidson’s were the motorcycle of choice in the early years. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, the SFPD had a mix of KZ 1000 Kawasaki’s and Honda’s painted white. When Harley-Davidson started their “Lease” program in 1998, the SFPD leased three Police Road Kings for $1.00 per year per Motorcycle. This great opportunity, combined with a dedicated Administration, evolved into our present day status of seven H-D motorcycles and 10 “certified” Motor Officers. The Department owns six H-D Road Kings and lease one H-D Police Electra. They are all equipped with H-D “tour-pack” system containing LED emergency lights, and front mount and engine guard mounted LED emergency lights. All but one of the units’ sports heated handgrips for a longer working season! SF Traffic Motor Officers will typically ride from late March until inclimate weather forces them off in November or even December.The Traffic Services Section operates under the direction of the Patrol Division. Some of their responsibilities are Special Events, Funeral and Dignitary escorts, House Moves, Selective Traffic Enforcement, Traffic complaint Zones, and School Zones speed enforcement.Safety is a priority with the SFPD motor unit. To be selected to the Motor Unit, you first must be assigned to the Traffic Service Section. A minimum of one year street riding experience is required with additional time being better. After being selected, officers are required to successfully pass the 80 hour “Operator’s” course and attend a two day refresher every spring to renew the perishable skills that are lost over the long Dakota winters.The SFPD currently has one Motor Instructor (Traffic Service Commander) and one Co-Instructor (Senior Field Motor Officer) that hold a two week “Operators” class and 2, two day “Refresher” classes every year. The Instructor was trained through Northwestern Traffic Institute and H-D in their three week Instructor course.
Information and Photos provided by the Sioux Falls, SD Police Department