Chicago, IL Police Department

The History of the Chicago Police Department Motorcycle Unit

On January 31, 1835 the State of Illinois authorized the Town of Chicago to establish its own force.  On August 15, 1835 Orsemus Morrison is elected Chicago’s first constable, assisted by Constable Luther Nichols and John Shrigley.  The three-man police force serves and protects a population of about 3,200.  The Police Department pre-dates Chicago as a city. In 1910 the departments expands its service by introducing two new police vehicles Motorcycles and Boats. Then in 1959 the Chicago Park District Police (Lincoln Park, South Park, and West Park) merge with the Chicago Police Department. Today the motor units are used for Special Events and parades.

Park District 1921 Henderson Motorcycles
Henderson Fours
1930’s (Photo Provided by B. Lancaster)
1930’s (Photo Provided by B. Lancaster)
1930’s (Photo Provided by B. Lancaster)
1930 Solider Field Thrill Show
1935 (Photo provided by Greg Reynolds
1930’s (Photo Provided by B. Lancaster)
Park District Harley-Davidson Servi-Car and Patrol Car
1953 Harley-Davidson Model G Servicar at Wrigley Field
Superintendent O.W. Wilson revolutionized the department’s communications system and consolidated many police districts during the 1960’s. He was our first civilian superintendent of police. This is an informal photo of him talking to a wheel guy.
Apollo 11 Astronauts Paraded by the Chicago PD Motors
1966 Harley-Davidson Model G Servicar

Information and Photos provided by the Chicago, IL Police Department.