The History of the Myrtle Beach Police Department Motorcycle Unit
The Myrtle Beach Police Department Motor Unit was established in 1954 and the motorcycle of choice was the Harley Davidson FLH. Due to their low cost, motorcycles were used for day-to-day operations and were often ridden by officers with some kind of riding experience. Because there was no established training program for Police Motorcycles, some of the motor officers were involved in collisions and as a result, some of them chose not to ride. The program then became a part of the special events such as parades and funeral escorts and less of the day-to-day operations. More and more officers chose not to ride and the program finally disappeared in mid 1960. The first Motor Officer’s in 1954 were W.L. Chestnut, B. Butler and R.Riddle. Other Motor Officers during the 1950’s and early 1960’s were V.W. Strickland, T.C. Taylor and Police Chief W.C. Newton.
The Myrtle Beach Motor Unit was re-established 39 years later in April 1999. Three Harley Davidson Electra Glide Standards were leased from Myrtle Beach Harley Davidson and four officers volunteered for the new unit. Shortly after, the city made plans for a fourth motorcycle and the start of a new era. Over the next 9 years the program has grown to five Harley Davidson Motorcycles assigned to the traffic unit. The five Harley’s will be replaced after January 2009 with the Honda STS 1300. The Myrtle Beach Police Department is adding three additional Hondas in 2009 and will now have 8 motor units.
Information and Photos provided by the Myrtle Beach, SC Police Department