Memphis’ police motorcycle patrol unit is celebrating its 100th anniversary, says the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Its members “are a special breed,” said Memphis police Col. Mary Newsom, who oversees it. “It’s a very dangerous job. They do it because they love it.” Maj. Greg Quinn, who commands two shifts of motorcycle officers, each with seven patrolmen and one lieutenant, calls the job “a full-contact sport.”
The motors unit also performs dignitary and other escorts. They provide security at movie sets. The unit is also used for traffic control and enforcement, accident investigations and sometimes to bolster the city’s precinct patrols. Perhaps most importantly, they aim radar at speeders in school zones. The officers have to complete a two-week intensive training school, and have to be able to perform a set of difficult maneuvers on the cycle. Only about one quarter of those who want to be motor officers make it through training.