Police Motor Units
The History of Motorcycle Law Enforcement

 "Virtual Museum"





Vermont State Police

In 1925 there was a massive re-write of all of Vermont’s motor vehicle laws. As part of that legislation a separate Motor Vehicle Bureau was created within the Secretary of State’s office.  As part of the organizational structure established for the Motor Vehicle Bureau the Department’s enforcement personnel formed the “Vermont Highway Patrol”.  The patrol officers at that time were uniformed and those uniforms were purchased by the State. However, the motorcycles used were purchased by the officers themselves.
It is not clear how many motorcycle patrol officers there were when the Highway Patrol was first established.   However , we do know that the first motorcycle patrol officers were part time (six month) positions.We do have a newspaper article from April 1927 that indicates the size of the motorcycle patrol force to consist of a dozen officers.  At that time their work year was also expanded from 6 to 7 months.  
In 1929 the motorcycle patrol was expanded to 15 officers. This number fluctuated between 10 and 15  over the next few years, I assume based on budgetary considerations.   In 1937 the State procured patrol cars for the Highway Patrol and that brought an end to the Motorcycle unit within DMV. 
In 1947 the Vermont State Police was formed and they have never had a Motorcycle police force. 

Information and Photos provided by the Vermont State Police