Motorcycle officers have been valued members of police organizations for more than a century. They provide unique capabilities that allow police to respond quickly to emergencies. Motorcycle police can dodge through traffic which allows them to reach a crime scene much more quickly than cruisers. They can also pursue suspects in motor vehicles even through dense traffic.
Motorcycle police also perform unique functions. They are often key elements at state funerals, parades and motorcades. These officers also usually provide security for special events and during the transport of important persons.
Specialized Training to Become a Motorcycle Officer
New recruits typically are not eligible for motorcycle police jobs until they have complete the two to three year probationary period with the PD. After serving as a patrol officer for a number of years, officers may request transfer to the motorcycle unit. In order to qualify as a motorcycle officer, candidates must possess the following:
- Ability to lift an agency motorcycle from a lying to a vertical position
- Ability to obtain a motorcycle license
If accepted, the officer will undergo additional training in the operation of the agency issued motorcycle. This includes classroom instruction as well as field training in how to operate a motorcycle in a variety of conditions like narrow throughways, rain, or pursuit of speeding fugitives. New members of motorcycle units are usually partnered with experienced officers for a period of time.
Motorcycle Officer Job Description
Motorcycle police jobs involve the following activities:
- Monitor traffic on highways and roads
- Respond to accidents, emergencies and criminal incidents
- Pursue and arrest speeding fugitives
- Provide added security to state functions like motorcades and funerals
- Direct traffic at accidents or malfunctioning intersections
Motorcycle Officer Salary
Motorcycle officers receive salaries and benefits similar to other patrol officers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2010, the national average of annual salaries for patrol officers was $56,260. This may be adjusted for educational background, military experience, cost of living and seniority.