Police Motor Units
The History of Motorcycle Law Enforcement

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DeKalb, IL Police Department


DeKalb Police Department Motor Unit History

 “In September 2002 the formation of a Motor (Motorcycle) Unit was considered.  Sgt. Jim McDougall was given the task of contacting Police Motor Units in nearby communities, gathering pertinent information, and contacting various Harley Davidson dealerships to determine the feasibility of providing a Motor Unit for the citizens of DeKalb.  A year and a half later, July 2004, City Council authorized adding the motorcycle to our fleet.  It had been over 20 years since the department has had a Motor Unit.

 Officers assigned to the Motorcycle Unit are known as “motormen.”  They must pass an 80-hour certified training program, which is put on by Northwestern University's Department of Public Safety and Harley-Davidson Motorcycles.  As of today, the department has two motormen, Sgt. Jim McDougall and Officer Kevin Ferrigan.
 
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 will occur in high crash locations and in residential neighborhoods within the City.  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.

 In addition to traffic enforcement, the Motor Unit will patrol the parks and bike paths in the City.  They will be involved in the department's traffic safety and community relation programs. 

The motorcycle is a low cost addition to the fleet as the department grows.  The motorcycle is leased from Kutter Harley Davidson in Janesville, Wisconsin for $1 a year.  The motorcycle also helps to control fuel expenses.


The Motor Unit began service on September 8, 2004.”

As of this time, we have 3 officers who are in the motor unit.

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Information and Photos provided by DeKalb, IL Police Department