MSP disbands motorcycle unit

State police decided they will stick with vehicles with four wheels when it comes to crime scenes and enforcing the rules of the road.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 8:04 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MICHIGAN (WNEM) - State police decided they will stick with vehicles with four wheels when it comes to crime scenes and enforcing the rules of the road.

An agency spokesperson said the move to disband its motorcycle unit was about safety.

“We’re always evaluating what we’re doing to provide the finest level of police to people in the state of Michigan,” Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw said.

Motorcycles give police an option to quickly respond to crime scenes, and they can maneuver through traffic and get to places police cars can’t.

However, seven MSP troopers have died in the line of duty while on motorcycles. Among them was Chad Wolf, who was heading north on Dixie Highway in Clarkston when he was struck by a trailer. Wolf ended up underneath the trailer and was dragged for several miles.

“Policing is a very dangerous job. And any time we can change the way that we do things and keep our troopers safe, that’s always going to be an easy decision for us. In fact, it’s a no-brainer,” Shaw said.

Shaw said the decision will not impact public safety.

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson acknowledges motorcycles come with more potential for danger but said they will have their place.

“We use them for ceremonial purposes, funeral escorts, at public events. Motorcycles are used for dignitary protections when we have any guests that come into Genesee County. But they are certainly a different tool for patrol, but I do not use them for routine patrol vehicles,” Swanson said.

Nor does he plan to completely remove motorcycles from the road.

“For our operation, they are efficient. And I’m happy to have them,” Swanson said.