HELENA POLICE DEPARTMENT MOTORCYCLE PATROL
In the year 2000, the Helena Police Department started entertaining the idea of having a motorcycle patrol unit. Officers from the department researched different options for funding, equipment, motorcycles, training, deployment, and integration within the current patrol division. Through mostly grant money sources and HPD funds in the spring of 2001, 2 Harley Davidson police motorcycles were leased and 3 officers were sent to an 80-hour police motorcycle training course in Bozeman. Thus, the start of the HPD’s current motorcycle traffic control unit.
The emphasis for this special unit is to monitor traffic, enforce traffic codes, proactively patrol traffic problem areas, be a resource to various driver and safety groups, and provide traffic assistance including parade escorts and traffic control during large events.
From the first year’s success, the HPD continued the program and leased two 2002 Harley Davidson motorcycles again. Also with the aid of grant money sources, one of HPD’s motor officers was sent to a nationally recognized police motorcycle instructor’s course to be able to train the HPD’s future motorcycle officers in Helena.
The original three officers continued patrolling Helena on the motorcycles in the summer months; however, it became apparent that the cycles could be used more than the few months that the leases covered. In 2003, 2 100th Anniversary Harley Davidson cycles were purchased by the City of Helena and remain in service at the HPD at this time. Since then, additional officers have been trained to patrol on the cycles.
As of the summer of 2007, there are 5 officers that ride the 2 police motorcycles during varying times of the day around Helena hoping to aid in the traffic safety around Helena in one way or another.
The current HPD police motorcycles are 2003 Harley Davidson Road King Police motorcycles. The cycles are equipped with police radar speed detection systems, communications systems, public address (PA) systems, very visible LED emergency lighting systems and sirens. The new 2003 HD bikes are also sporting new paint and detailing jobs so that they match the HPD’s police cruisers. See the associated website pages for pictures. If you have any other questions, contact the Helena Police Department and ask to get in touch with any of the motorcycle officers. They would be happy to answer any questions regarding the program, or to aid in any traffic concerns that you may have in the Helena area.