Bozeman Motorcycle Cops Provide Law Enforcement and Outreach

Bozeman motorcycle officers outreach education

The police department in Bozeman, Montana, has maintained a dedicated motorcycle patrol unit for decades. Like other motorcycle cops across the country, they perform essential traffic enforcement and investigation functions.

But what makes this police department stand out is the Bozeman motorcycle cops outreach program. The city’s motorcycle units mix law enforcement and public outreach to not only protect but also educate the public on traffic laws and how to stay safe on the road.

A Good Motorcycle Unit Starts With Good Equipment

Bozeman’s bike-mounted police officers hit the road in early spring and ride six or seven months of the year, weather permitting. As part of their duties, they perform traffic enforcement and accident and criminal offense investigations.

Police bikes have standard frames and tanks but wider and more comfortable seats. They are also outfitted with special equipment such as lights, sirens, a PA system, police decals, and saddlebags that store essential gear like rain protection, gloves, a flashlight, and ticket books. A black box behind the rider’s seat doubles as a desk on which the officers fill out paperwork.

To detect the speed of moving vehicles, Bozeman’s motorcycle officers use handheld LIDAR speed guns. These are similar to the radars in patrol cars but use a laser to pinpoint the speed of vehicles instead. LIDAR speed guns are smaller and more compact, making them easy to carry in the bikes’ saddlebags.

The Challenges of Bike Patrols

Motorcycles have many advantages over patrol cars. They can enter much tighter spaces, weave through traffic quickly if needed, and work in high-traffic, congested areas that would bog down most cars.

On the flip side, safety is a much bigger concern for motorcycle cops than it is for car patrols. Riders don’t have the protections that are available to other motorists, such as seat belts, safety restraints, airbags, and a metal frame. That’s why aspiring motorcycle cops must complete a grueling 80-hour course before joining the Bozeman Police Department’s motorcycle unit.

Bozeman Motorcycle Cops Outreach

Bozeman’s motorcycle patrols don’t just enforce traffic laws. The officers work to connect with the local community and raise the public’s awareness of traffic laws and road safety.

As part of the police department’s outreach initiatives, Bozeman’s motorcycle officers often present at the Citizens Police Academy or drivers education classes, where they share tips on state and federal highway safety and distribute materials from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s public awareness campaigns or motorcycle safety research.

Members of the public are also welcome to approach bike-mounted officers while they are on patrols in the community. People often come up to say hello, check out the police bikes, and ask questions. Motorcycles are particularly attractive at public events like parades when curious children and families flock to the motorcycle unit, which makes for a fantastic opportunity to interact with the public.

Coffee With a Cop

Coffee With a Cop is one of the more popular Bozeman motorcycle cops outreach programs. The initiative first started in July 2015. Since then, police officers have been meeting with members of the public every month in various coffee shops across Bozeman.

There are no topics or prepared speeches — only informal, relaxed conversations about the things Bozeman residents care about. Anyone can turn up, have coffee with the officers, and discuss problems that affect the community.

Were You Involved in an Accident? Call Law Tigers.

Traffic safety is a cornerstone of Bozeman motorcycle cops outreach initiatives. At Law Tigers, we care about your safety as well. If you suffer injuries in a road accident, we can review your case and advise whether you can seek compensation. Call Law Tigers at 1-888-863-7216 for a free case evaluation.