The History of the Richland County Sheriff’s Office Motorcycle Unit
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department has a short but proud history operating police motorcycles. Sheriff Lott started Richland County’s first motorcycle unit under the direction of the Traffic Safety Unit in 2003 with the purchase of a 1999 BMW R1100RTP police motorcycle.
The motorcycle program quickly grew with the purchase of a second BMW R1100RTP motorcycle and Richland County had two Traffic deputies operating these motors. Both deputies received extensive training and certifications through Charleston County Sheriff’s Department and South Carolina Highway Patrol.
In 2008 the Richland County Sheriff’s Department traded in its BMW motors and purchased two brand new 2008 Harley Davidson Electra Glides which were black and proudly displayed Harley Davidson’s 100 year anniversary badge on the front fenders.
Early in 2009 Richland County Sheriff’s Department’s Traffic Safety Unit was awarded a grant which would purchase two more motors in which the department obtained two more Harley Davidson Electra Glides in black.
Currently all four motors are equipped with front and rear radar units and the grant purchased motors are equipped with cameras as well. Motor officers are equipped with wireless communication systems as well.
Richland County Sheriff’s Department’s motor unit carries out many duties throughout the county not limited to traffic enforcement. Motor units have participated in many parades throughout the Richland County and the City of Columbia. Motor units have escorted fallen officer’s funerals, dignitary funerals as well as citizen’s funerals. Also motor units have attended career days at many schools and have escorted numerous motorcycle rides which have sponsored various charities. Richland County Sheriff’s Department motor units also have successfully participated in police motorcycle skills competitions taking trophies in both novice and intermediate categories in two competitions throughout its short history.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department Motor unit is a coveted position within the department as well as the Traffic Safety Unit. Deputies assigned to the motor unit are very proud of their skills as well as their agency and unit. Motor officers are aware of the dangers of operating police motorcycles and take all precautions and are aware of policy specifically designated for the operation of department motors.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department under the direction of Sheriff Lott is a proud agency which is well known to implement any tool necessary to carry out the mission of protecting the lives and property of its citizens and the motor unit has been a vital tool in keeping the neighborhoods and roadways in Richland County as safe as possible as well as being a very positive public relations tool.
Information and Photos provided by the Richland County, SC Sheriff’s Office