Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 17 Old Jul 22nd, 2015, 1:58 pm Thread Starter
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Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

I'm sure there are some current or former Motorcycle LEOs on this site, so I have a question that occurred to me while riding from DC to Annapolis today. The temperature was a comfortable 80deg, humidity was low, and for this part of the Mid-Atlantic states it was a great day to ride.
While nearing Annapolis I saw many Maryland State Motorcycle Cops out handing out speeding tickets on Route 50. Their standard riding gear was helmet, calf length boots, trooper pants and short sleeve summer State Police shirts. This was universal, I saw no one wearing even a leather jacket. Don't these agencies support ATGATT? What is the rationale for allowing these troopers to be cruising and chasing speeders at 70-80 mph without more protective gear. I don't even ride to the drugstore around the corner without wearing at least a mesh jacket with elbow/back protection and at least long pants, if not my summer mesh pants.
If the cops don't set an example for us in safe riding habits, how are the rest of us supposed to understand the importance of ATGATT.
Not being critical of these guys who are out protecting our highways and byways, but I don't understand the rationale for their not wearing protective gear.
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post #2 of 17 Old Jul 22nd, 2015, 2:39 pm
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

I haven't seen solo6 posting in a while. I am sure that he will have some input to your question.

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post #3 of 17 Old Jul 22nd, 2015, 7:26 pm
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

Just a guess, but I'd wager that the troopers a) don't have department issued/approved mesh gear for warmer weather and b) that's their only source of heat management.

Have you ever tried riding in warm/hot weather with NIJ Level II or Level III armor? I have, and it can be torture. Heat exhaustion can set in earlier for those guys with their vests.

Yes, I believe in/practice ATGATT. Just my $.02.

Ride safe.


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post #4 of 17 Old Jul 23rd, 2015, 8:45 am Thread Starter
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

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Originally Posted by rangemaster View Post
Just a guess, but I'd wager that the troopers a) don't have department issued/approved mesh gear for warmer weather and b) that's their only source of heat management.

Have you ever tried riding in warm/hot weather with NIJ Level II or Level III armor? I have, and it can be torture. Heat exhaustion can set in earlier for those guys with their vests.

Yes, I believe in/practice ATGATT. Just my $.02.

Ride safe.


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While I can't be positive, but it didn't seem that these guys were wearing anything under their blouses. One guy was right behind me with his lights flashing. I thought he was after me, but I had my cruise control set at the speed limit. He then pulled in front of me to flag down the SUV in front of me, going abut 7-10 mph over the limit. I had a pretty good look at him, as I was curious about what he was wearing. Maybe they had bike airbags?


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post #5 of 17 Old Jul 23rd, 2015, 7:11 pm
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

We asked the motor patrolman that question at CCR Riverhouse Bend Oregon. They said with all the equipment and all the sitting and waiting in the heat they didn't want a jacket. A Jacket is ok if your are moving. Also if they have to give chase on foot they don't want to take off a jacket.

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post #6 of 17 Old Jul 23rd, 2015, 7:20 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

It's interesting that you routinely hear of squad cars being involved in crashes, but come to think of it, you rarely hear of motorcycle cops being involved. Maybe a testament to their training and skills.


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post #7 of 17 Old Jul 24th, 2015, 8:47 am
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

In OK, OHP Troopers ride BMW RTP's and wear textile padded jackets. OCPD just wears short sleeves and rides Harleys, i think there is a correlation there with the general public.

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post #8 of 17 Old Jul 24th, 2015, 8:48 am
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

I have spoken with motor officers about this issue and learned a few things:

* Some things are related to traditions that are hard to break. Some of them simply like the look. Speaking for myself, I do not understand the knee high boots, other than the sense of style and of bonding with the traditional past.

* They must wear a lot of police gear on their belts, while at the same time be able to chase down fleeing suspects. The protective gear that you and I wear may hinder their ability to run after suspects. Our kind of gear may also interfere with pulling out their belt equipment quickly, especially their handgun, taser, or pepper spray.

* The same is true for helmets. Full face and convertible helmets may be too heavy or too time consuming to remove in an emergency situation. I remember one of them talking with me about the helmet and communications wiring that would be more of a problem with full face styles.

* A few years ago, I met a motor officer who was getting fitted for a "proper" textile jacket - the kind that I wear when I ride with armored shoulders and elbows. It had CHP patches, but was a typical Olympia jacket or something similar. He told me at the time that officers were being given the option to wear more standard motorcycle gear. It may have been a pilot test program.

* Twice I have seen CHP motor officers on the freeway wearing full face helmets with chin bars. (It may have been the same officer on two different occasions.) Yes, I am certain that they were CHP officers and not look-alikes on old re-sold motorcycle. I have not seen one for a long time, and I have seen many of them - so the full face ones must be very rare. It might have been a pilot test program too. It may be that they were off-duty, heading home from work, but they seemed to be on patrol.
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post #9 of 17 Old Jul 25th, 2015, 12:28 am
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

Ok, in Belgium we don't get the same temperatures as the southern states do, however our Motorcycle cops all wear ATGATT.
Their helmets are flip-up and from what I have seen they have easy access to their weapon & other equipment.

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post #10 of 17 Old Jul 25th, 2015, 1:33 pm
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

you try to ride with a bulletproof vest and all the gear and the have to run after some one!

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post #11 of 17 Old Jul 25th, 2015, 3:20 pm Thread Starter
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Cool Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

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Originally Posted by mstrquad View Post
you try to ride with a bulletproof vest and all the gear and the have to run after some one!
I guess that's not why I am not a motorcycle cop. But if I were I wouldn't chase them on foot, but on my R1200RT-P.


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post #12 of 17 Old Jul 26th, 2015, 7:30 am
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

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Originally Posted by emdruymd View Post
I guess that's not why I am not a motorcycle cop. But if I were I wouldn't chase them on foot, but on my R1200RT-P.
It might look bad for you if the suspect has R1200RT-P tire tread marks on their back.
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post #13 of 17 Old Aug 6th, 2015, 12:03 pm
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

I think they wear flip-up Schuberths here.

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post #14 of 17 Old Aug 12th, 2015, 1:47 pm
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

Just a short response ....

The Maryland State Police does not believe in ATGATT.

Motor officers have to adopt a reasonable compromise so that protective gear does not hamper their duties as police officers.

Too much protective gear reduces movement and flexibility. If it becomes so cumbersome, they can't function as a police officer. It impacts on their ability to defend themselves.

Years ago First Sergeant Frank Wastler of the Maryland State Police in conjunction with the University of Maryland 'WROTE THE BOOK' on motor officer training. MSP knows what they are doing.
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post #15 of 17 Old Aug 12th, 2015, 2:34 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

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Originally Posted by LarryM View Post
Just a short response ....

The Maryland State Police does not believe in ATGATT.

Motor officers have to adopt a reasonable compromise so that protective gear does not hamper their duties as police officers.

Too much protective gear reduces movement and flexibility. If it becomes so cumbersome, they can't function as a police officer. It impacts on their ability to defend themselves.

Years ago First Sergeant Frank Wastler of the Maryland State Police in conjunction with the University of Maryland 'WROTE THE BOOK' on motor officer training. MSP knows what they are doing.
Any links to that MSP book?. I'd love to be able to pick up on some of their training and skills.


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post #16 of 17 Old Aug 12th, 2015, 5:47 pm
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

It is not on the internet. It might be available to you at the Univ. of MD library or Annapolis State Library.

Some of our NJ motor officers were sent down to the MSP Academy to become certified instructors. They spent 3 weeks there. That's a lot of money so I think it speaks highly of MSP training. A local instructor let me leaf through the manual once, not allowing me to take it out of his sight.

Locally I see BMW and HD police motorcycles.

So, for your education and entertainment here are some videos of police motorcycle training.

Yonkers, NY PD Training


Guilford County, NC Sheriff Training


Chattanooga, TN PD Training

Note that they take off their helmets with one hand. Try that with a full face or modular skid lid.
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post #17 of 17 Old Aug 12th, 2015, 5:51 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Motorcycle Cops and ATGATT

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Originally Posted by LarryM View Post
It is not on the internet. It might be available to you at the Univ. of MD library or Annapolis State Library.

Some of our NJ motor officers were sent down to the MSP Academy to become certified instructors. They spent 3 weeks there. That's a lot of money so I think it speaks highly of MSP training. A local instructor let me leaf through the manual once, not allowing me to take it out of his sight.

Locally I see BMW and HD police motorcycles.

So, for your education and entertainment here are some videos of police motorcycle training.

Yonkers, NY PD Training
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98X9Bucse6g


Guilford County, NC Sheriff Training
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np3xoWbkgcc


Chattanooga, TN PD Training
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRpZlTBdIYU

Note that they take off their helmets with one hand. Try that with a full face or modular skid lid.
Thanks, appreciate the links.


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