Police Motor Units
The History of Motorcycle Law Enforcement

 "Virtual Museum"


Tennessee Highway Patrol



Tennessee Highway Patrol Sergeant John Davis on patrol in 1934. Davis was one of the first members of the Patrol later became assistant chief of the Knoxville division.

Tennessee Highway Patrol escorting the first vehicles to cross the new Clinch River bridge on opening day celebration in Clinton Tennessee.

Far Left Trooper Ed Beckman (Photo Credit Tennessee Lawman Eddie Ashmore)

(Photo provided by Mike Brunson)

Lieutenant Elmer Craig commanded an elite motorcycle unit of the Tennessee Highway Patrol known as the "Yellow Jackets" and charged with lowering the traffic fatalities. Craig later served as Chief of the Patrol.

1963 Harley-Davidson Model FLH Panheads Trooper Ed Beckman on left.Tennessee State Police Motorcycle “Yellow Jackets” On Harley Panheads! Member of the elite Yellow Jackets motorcycle unit of the Tennessee Highway Patrol were all volunteers. The unit was formed in 1958. They wore leather jackets dyed yellow during cold weather. The unit only existed for six months, but officers continued to wear the special uniforms and yellow motorcycles for a number of years


Tennessee Highway Patrol 1966 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead, Photo provided by Ward

Trooper Ed Beckman (Photo provided by Tony Aleria)

Trooper Ed Beckman with Yellow Jackets uniform (Photo provided by Tony Aleria)

(Photo provided by Tony Aleria)

 Trooper Ed Beckman's origional badge for the 1950's (Photo provided by Tony Aleria)

Trooper Beckman obtained this set of Harley-Davidson wings. He took the wings to a jeweler who customized it by removing the Harley-Davidson name and replacing it with Beckman's name. Trooper Beckman obtained permission to wear the wings in place of his regulation name tag (Photo provided by Tony Aleria).

Retired Trooper Ed Beckman hold a photograph of himself.  (Photo provided by Tony Aleria)



Photos and information provided by the Public Affairs/PIO of Tennessee Department of Safety