Illinois adds motorcycle patrol unit to its ranks

| Friday, July 14, 2006

The Illinois State Police and Department of Transportation have unveiled a new motorcycle patrol.

The unit has 42 motorcycle patrol officer positions and is expected to expand to 50 in the future, according to a police press release. Funding for the new unit is being provided through a $500,000 allotment from IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety.

“Motorcycles give officers more mobility to maneuver in traffic. They are easily recognized by the public and have proven to be effective in speed enforcement as well,” State Police Director Larry Trent said in a press release.

The new positions will be filled by recent academy graduates and existing officers from other departments, and will not increase the total number of officers in the force, Lt. Lincoln Hamilton, a spokesman for the State Police, told Land Line.

“We anticipate that deployment of the new motorcycle patrol unit will cut down the number of drivers exceeding the speed limit and will ultimately reduce the number of crashes, deaths and injuries.”

According to the release, the primary focus for troopers in the motorcycle patrol unit will be on highway safety, primarily assigned to speed enforcement duties on the interstate highways.

According to the press release, the goals of the motorcycle unit include:

  • Increasing interstate speed compliance by 5 percent;
  • Reducing by 10 percent the number of cars speeding by more than 21 miles per hour;
  • Increasing mandatory safety belt compliance rate; and
  • Increasing motorcycle awareness.

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