MSP Saying Goodbye To Their Motorcycle Police Force After 24 Years
For 24 years, Michigan roadways have been monitored not only by regular officers in their standard Michigan State Police cruisers, but motorcycle units as well.
In a move some are disagreeing with, the Michigan State Police are disbanding their Motorcycle patrol and reassigning the officers to standard vehicles.
The Michigan State Police Motorcycle Unit was initiated by Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard in 1999. The unit was originally intended to be an asset both in law enforcement and community relations. At it's start, that was the case. But in recent years, experts argue they may not be our safest or best option when it comes to road enforcement in Michigan.
Why is Michigan State Police disbanding their Motorcycle Unit?
Safety factors seem to be the main reason for disbanding this unit, but they say budget is at play as well. And obviously, we all want to work in the safest environment possible so it's easy to see why they'd make this choice... However, some officers are disagreeing this with policy.
According to reports, Four Michigan State Police Troopers have died in the line of duty since 2015. Two of them, Chad Wolf (in Clarkston, MI) in 2015 and Tim O’Neill (in Kent County, MI) in 2017, were both on motorcycles.
Officials believe that if these troopers had been in standard police vehicles, they may still be with the force today or may have suffered lesser injuries during their accidents. (However, it's hard to tell with scenarios if this would be true or not.)
On the other side, the officer who helped implement the motorcycle units still argues their importance, saying that motorcycle units are able to get to places regular cars cannot go. So, their usage is sometimes vital in helping catch criminals or to access areas.
We'll see what sort of changes this places for officers of the Michigan State Police, but when you're looking out: the motorcycle units are gone (for now.)