Police Motor Units
The History of Motorcycle Law Enforcement

 "Virtual Museum"


California Highway Patrol


Patch History

The CHP's shoulder patch was adopted in 1948 following legislation that elevated the CHP to full departmental status.  The patch's blue and gold colors are the official state colors.  Centered in the blue field is the CHP's seven-point badge, each point representing a trait of a professional law enforcement officer:  Character, Integrity, Knowledge, Judgment, Honor, Loyalty, and Courtesy.

Superimposed on the badge is the official Great Seal of California.  Keeping watch over the tableau is the armed figure of Minerva, Roman goddess of arts and science, who is wise in peace and war.  According to mythology, Minerva was born full grown, springing from brain of Jupiter, father of the Gods.  California, one of the few states granted statehood without the usual probationary period as a territory, was similarly born "full grown."

The California grizzly bear stands at Minerva's feet.  The bear is a symbol of strength and independence.  Grape leaves represent agricultural production; the miner, industry; the San Francisco Bay, commerce.  The Sierra Nevada, together with the desert cactus, depicts geographical diversity.  The official state motto, "Eureka" (I have found it), overarches the entire scene.   

Official California Highway Patrol Shoulder Patch Information

CHP Speed Test of the Harley-Davidson VL 

California Highway Patrol Motor Unit Winged Wheel Video

California Motorcycle Safety Program


CHP History Video

The California HIghway Patrol was established in 1929.  The CHP was mostly motorcycles.

Elvis on a CHP Motor 

Saw this picture of Elvis in the Guiness Book of World Records in the early 1970's with a reference to how many records Elvis has sold.  I mentioned it to my former FTO and he said I might want to talk to a certain Traffic Officer about the picture.  On my first attempt to talk to said Traffic Officer I caught hell and was informed that the phone we were talking on recorded all calls.  Sometime later I had a face to face with said Officer and he related the following:

He was a car officer working the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles and observed a car parked on the street with a large crowd around it.  He stopped and observed an occupant in the parked car and approached him.  It was Elvis and he explained that his car broke down and he was very uncomfortable with the crowd and would not exit his vehicle.  The Officer escorted Elvis to his patrol car and called a tow truck for Elvis' vehicle.  After the vehicle was towed the officer drove Elvis to his Los Angeles Estate. 

Elvis was enormously grateful and wanted to give the officer a reward for rescuing him, but the officer refused.  Ultimately Elvis went to the Officer's office and presented his Captain with a generous check for the Widows and Orphans Fund with the stimulation that the donation would remain anonymous.

At some point after the Elvis rescue the Officer now a Motor Officer was issued a new CHP Harley Davidson.  Knowing Elvis fondness for Harleys he rode to Elvis' Estate to show off his new ride.  Elvis climbed on and someone at his estate snapped the picture. 


Elvis on CHP Motor ( Story and Photo Provided by Norm Hubbard CHP Retired)



Leon Kling #501, in 1943 (Photo provided by Leon Kling Family)


Highway Patrolman Wiley Nugent #1118 (Photo provided by Family of Wiley Nugent)

Highway Patrolman Wiley Nugent #1118 (Photo provided by Family of Wiley Nugent)

Highway Patrolman Wiley Nugent #1118 on right (Photo provided by Family of Wiley Nugent)

Kendall Hall McAllister Badge#3931 (Photo provided by Kandell Hannon)

Kendall Hall McAllister Badge#3931 (Photo provided by Kandell Hannon)

California Highway Patrolman Norm Hubbard 5891, seated on his 1969 Model FLHFB Electra Glide (Photo provided by Harley-Davidson Archvies)


West LA 1969 California Highway Patrolman Norm Hubbard (Photo provided by Norm Hubbard CHP Retired)



Ventura, CA 1971 Highway Patrolman Norm Hubbard (Photo provided by Norm Hubbard CHP Retired)


West Valley Area (San Fernando, CA) Motor Squad Mid-1970's (Photo provided by Norm Hubbard)

Moto Guzzi Late 1970's

CHP Moto-Guzzi (Photo provided by Dave Swope)

Kawasaki KZ 1000 C-1A 1978

1980 Kawasaki KZ1000 C-3 Police

Photos provided by Bill M.

Burgess Meredith (Penguin) from Batman TV Show is a big fan of CHP


Photos provided by Bill M.

Photos provided by Bill M.


Photos provided by Bill M.

Photos provided by Bill M.


Photos provided by Bill M.




Photos provided by former Officers and family members