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Police Motor Units
The History of Motorcycle Law Enforcement

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Rhode Island State Police


Patch History

The patch that adorns all Rhode Island State Police uniforms today was designed 50 years ago by Lieutenant Hugh J. Frayne (ret.), #57, Class of 1946, while assigned to the Scituate Barracks. Many designs were submitted, but this design was preferred by troopers and Colonel Walter E. Stone, who made it regulation on uniforms in June of 1966. Worn only on the left shoulder of the uniform, the patch is a shield shape with a black background and red edging, showing the State House in gray with the American and state flags in full color. A banner with the words “RHODE ISLAND” in red lettering is above the flags with “STATE POLICE”, also in red lettering, underneath the State Capitol. In-between the flags is “1925” – the year the Division was created by the General Assembly. Compared to earlier versions of the patch, Lieutenant Frayne’s design added a new dimension; bright colors. Prior to this patch, only two patches were worn. It is unknown when the first patch was created and there is only one known photo of the patch adorning a uniform. According to sources, the shield shaped patch incorporated the words “RHODE ISLAND” curved over “STATE POLICE” in red lettering surrounded by a red border on a black background. The patch was worn only on the left shoulder. None of these patches are known to be in existence. In 1937, a new shoulder patch was chosen and was also only worn on the left shoulder. Similar to the previous patch, it was a black shield shape with a curved, red inner border. In the center of the patch was a large red anchor, representing the state seal, with a coiled rope and a banner with the state motto, “HOPE” across the anchor. The letters “R” and “I” flanked the anchor and banner in the upper corners with the words “STATE POLICE” below the anchor. There is little doubt that Retired Lieutenant Hugh J. Frayne, who retired in 1966 and passed away in 1989, would be proud to see Division members continuing to wear the patch he designed 50 years ago. NOTE: If anyone has the very first patch or has any photos of a trooper(s) wearing the first patch, we would like to hear from you.

The History of the Rhode Island State Police Motorcycle Unit

1927

1928

Trooper John Weber

 End of Watch: June 16, 1925
Age: 34
Years of Service: just over 1 month
Badge #: N/A
Cause of Death: Motorcycle Accident
National Memorial Panel: 42-W: 11

Trooper John Weber was killed when the motorcycle he was operating collided with an automobile. He was among a group of troopers to take a motorcycle-riding lesson that afternoon from the barracks in Wakefield. Weber was the last of the group to come down the twisting driveway that led to the barracks. After turning out of the driveway and onto Boston Post Road, his motorcycle crashed into a passing automobile, just a few feet past the entrance to the barracks. Trooper Weber was killed instantly.

Weber served in the United States Navy from 1908 to 1922 (14 1/2 years) as a Chief Gunner's Mate and eventually Chief Torpedoman, during which he received numerous military decorations. During World War I he received the Navy Cross for his efforts in combating an oil fire aboard the U.S.S. Woolsey, during which he sustained severe burns to his face and hands.

Weber was a member of the very first Rhode Island Mounted Police Training Academy and was still a recruit in the Training Academy at the time of his death.

Trooper Bradford Mott

Trooper Bradford Mott was killed while patrolling on his motorcycle. On May 6, 1941, Trooper Mott was traveling north on Post Road in North Kingstown when the 1940 Harley-Davidson motorcycle he was riding went out of control and left the highway. Witnesses stated that the front end of the motorcycle began to shimmy back and forth and suddenly veered toward the shoulder and off the road. The motorcycle scraped along a stone wall until the front wheel hit a stone lodged in the dirt, at which time the motorcycle stopped short, throwing Trooper Mott from it, and sending the motorcycle end over end until it hit a telephone pole. Trooper Mott's body landed in the northbound lane of travel, approximately 32 feet from his motorcycle. Trooper Mott died the next day, May 7, 1941, as a result of injuries sustained from the accident.

Late 30's Early 40's

Class of 1952

RISP Colonel John T. Sheehan and Governor Dennis J. Roberts with dignitaries and troopers in front of a billboard unveiled in 1954

1958

August 1977, Troopers Dennis Trombley and Robert McQueeney on patrol on Route 4 in East Greenwich.

Training Academy staff Trooper Bruce Bowie instructs student Troopers William Labossiere and Brendan Doherty in 1980.

Class 1987

1990's

2014

2014

2014

Sgt. Peter Filuminia

2017 Trooper Micheal Colasante 

2018


Information and Photos provided by the Rhode Island State Police