The Motor Unit began service on September 8, 2004. It had been over 20 years since the department has had a Motor Unit.
About the Unit
The Motor Unit is used for traffic enforcement, special events, and as a tool to interact with the public, especially children and youths. Traffic enforcement is stressed in high crash locations and in residential neighborhoods. These locations chosen will be where an officer in a marked police car would not be able to monitor traffic and take the necessary enforcement on traffic violations. Because of the unique characteristics of a motorcycle, its maneuverability, agility and size, officers have the ability to access many locations. Motorcycles offer the advantage of going places where a patrol car is unable to go.
Staff Officers assigned to the Motorcycle Unit are known as motormen and attended an 80-hour course put on by the Northwestern University's Department of Public Safety and Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. Today, the department has 3 motormen.
Patrol Duties In addition to traffic enforcement, the Motor Unit patrols parks and bikes within the city. They are also involved in traffic safety and community relations programs.
Equipment The motorcycle is leased from Kutter Harley Davidson in Janesville, Wisconsin. Each motorcycle is leased for three years. The motorcycle is a low cost addition to the fleet as the department grows and it helps control fuel expenses.