Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 37 Old Oct 13th, 2009, 10:16 am Thread Starter
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Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

This must be POLICE week here on Discovery Channel.

OK, this has been bothering me for quite a while... why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets? We all know they are much safer, and it seems like it would set a good example for other riders.

Maybe there are some departments that DO - but I don't think I've ever seen one. Is this a machismo thing?

Is it the same kind of "old school" thinking that led the Tucson police department (where it frequently get over 100 degrees) to buy 46 new AIR COOLED Harleys instead of RTP's?

OK, everyone sing along: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire....
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post #2 of 37 Old Oct 13th, 2009, 10:22 am
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Maybe it's because the people they pull over wouldn't be able to understand what they're saying in a full face, or it's because they've always worn open helmets and never thought about changing.


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post #3 of 37 Old Oct 13th, 2009, 10:35 am
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Yes, full-faced helmets would give additional safety and would also carry the benefit of additional hearing protection.

But motor officers aren't in a position of safety, unfortunately---which is why they aren't clad in armored gloves and full leathers, which (while they would offer much more protection, would impede their ability to get to a weapon, and respond, etc.)

You hit on one reason for the 3/4 helmet above...removing helmets when on the side of the road is a safety and response issue. Pulling over a speeder, then removing a helmet creates two issues, well three.

1. Appearance. "Helmet head" reduces professional appearance, and would actually be something that would detract from the sharp lines of normal motor officer uniform appearance.

2. Passing motorists are far more likely to stare at the flashing lights of a police motorcycle on the side of the road than a Crown Vic, and are much more likely to veer to the side of the road and clip a bike and its rider...an 800-pound motorcycle offers far less protection for the officer than a 4,000 pound car, so keeping a helmet on is a small way to help protect an officer in these cases.

3. If an emergency call comes up in the middle of a traffic stop, and the officer needs to "hop on the bike and leave immediately," he or she needs to be able to do so right away, not have to pause, helmet up, fasten the helmet straps, put on glasses, then take off. Doesn't seem like a lot of time, but in an emergency (officer down, family in a car that is on fire, etc.) seconds mean a lot.


There are a handful of agencies that are using full-face helmets, either during cold-weather months, or year-round (west-coast agencies, a couple in Washington State)--more for the ability to mount better radio communications equipment including microphones that aren't affected by wind noise than anything else. But there are lots of citizen complaints that the motor cops with full-face helmets have a more "intimidating" look to them (even some that complained that they resemble storm troopers--no kidding).

Indiana's two Hayabusa patrol bikes are manned by troopers that wear full-face helmets for obvious reasons.

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post #4 of 37 Old Oct 13th, 2009, 10:44 am Thread Starter
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by petevandyke
Yes, full-faced helmets would give additional safety and would also carry the benefit of additional hearing protection.

But motor officers aren't in a position of safety, unfortunately---which is why they aren't clad in armored gloves and full leathers, which (while they would offer much more protection, would impede their ability to get to a weapon, and respond, etc.)

You hit on one reason for the 3/4 helmet above...removing helmets when on the side of the road is a safety and response issue. Pulling over a speeder, then removing a helmet creates two issues, well three.

1. Appearance. "Helmet head" reduces professional appearance, and would actually be something that would detract from the sharp lines of normal motor officer uniform appearance.

2. Passing motorists are far more likely to stare at the flashing lights of a police motorcycle on the side of the road than a Crown Vic, and are much more likely to veer to the side of the road and clip a bike and its rider...an 800-pound motorcycle offers far less protection for the officer than a 4,000 pound car, so keeping a helmet on is a small way to help protect an officer in these cases.

3. If an emergency call comes up in the middle of a traffic stop, and the officer needs to "hop on the bike and leave immediately," he or she needs to be able to do so right away, not have to pause, helmet up, fasten the helmet straps, put on glasses, then take off. Doesn't seem like a lot of time, but in an emergency (officer down, family in a car that is on fire, etc.) seconds mean a lot.


There are a handful of agencies that are using full-face helmets, either during cold-weather months, or year-round (west-coast agencies, a couple in Washington State)--more for the ability to mount better radio communications equipment including microphones that aren't affected by wind noise than anything else. But there are lots of citizen complaints that the motor cops with full-face helmets have a more "intimidating" look to them (even some that complained that they resemble storm troopers--no kidding).

Indiana's two Hayabusa patrol bikes are manned by troopers that wear full-face helmets for obvious reasons.
This all makes perfect sense, thanks Pete!

...not to sure about that helmet head thing though...

I snapped a picture of one of those Indiana troopers on the Busa:
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post #5 of 37 Old Oct 13th, 2009, 12:44 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Most, if not all, of the motorcycle officers around Austin wear flip-up helmets.

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post #6 of 37 Old Oct 13th, 2009, 2:04 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by petevandyke
1. Appearance. "Helmet head" reduces professional appearance, and would actually be something that would detract from the sharp lines of normal motor officer uniform appearance.
These guys never had an issue with helmet head..... just sayin'...

(P.S. Thanks Ron for the pic!)

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post #7 of 37 Old Oct 13th, 2009, 2:27 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by astuber
Most, if not all, of the motorcycle officers around Austin wear flip-up helmets.
APD cheif of Police has tried to make flip face helmets maditory but has been met with great opisition from some motor oficers

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post #8 of 37 Old Oct 13th, 2009, 4:25 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Ok, I'll chime in here. In dealing with the public as a motor officer does (it's their job to go out and make traffic stops) there is unfortunately the identification and the intimidation/appearance issue. Not everyone is a hardened criminal by no means. The people who would complain the most would be the people who only have contact with law enforcement through the occassional traffic stop. And yes a full faced helmet would "scare" some of them. A half or 3/4 allows the vilolator to see the officers face. Yes a flip up helmet would take care of that. But in our line of work there are always those who would keep it down just for the intimidation factor.

Don't think this is serious or true? I now work in my department's internal affairs unit. A woman came in and wanted to file a complaint about the female officer "brutalizing" her during her arrest for domestic violence. It was undisputed she was the primary aggressor and the only marks she could show were from her husband "trying to get me away from him". Know how she was "brutalized"? The officer used "a commanding prescence and spoke loudly when I didn't want to be arrested. While I was trying not to be handcuffed she told me to relax and cooperate or she might have to pepper spray me. So I cooperated." She was not sprayed, she was not hit, but "She didn't have to talk to me that way."

Yes a full face helmet would be safer but there are reasons.

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post #9 of 37 Old Oct 14th, 2009, 7:31 pm
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Because they prefer a macho NASTY image over a professional one.

OK, I suggest that you guys take a ride in EU well above the speed limit, get pulled over by RT-mounted police and tell me that they are not professional - even though the cop will have either full leathers (as I have seen in UK, Austria and few other countries) or full-textile suit (have seen in France & Germany among others)

I call the arguments mentioned above Bull-Shit.

This intimidation/professional baloney is in the same league as some of police departments here getting after-market loud pipes (I kid you not!), because, after all, they have to present the NASTY image.

Luckily, I have never been pulled over "in anger" on the bike in Europe, only in routine traffic checkpoints (getting stopped in a car is a different story, does not count on this forum, he, he... ) but can tell you that they exude an air of authority and professionalism as much if not more than some of my LEO encounters stateside. I often stop for pictures and talk to the cops en-route (a weird habit of mine) - and the more I do that the more angry I feel about the un-professional approach of motor cops here.

Just like the loud-pipes / t-shirt/sandals/stunting crowd here, it serves to enhance their self-image, but does a great disservice to the perception of motorcyclists by the American public.

So, it's BS here all over. Think about it next time you are denied medical insurance coverage for riding a bike or are forbidden to ride at your destination.

Remember, Joe Q Public is not impressed by your Hollister-style look; thinks we are all a bunch of jerks that should be banned from public roads.

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post #10 of 37 Old Oct 15th, 2009, 2:58 pm
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Re: Because they prefer a macho NASTY image over a professional one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker
OK, I suggest that you guys take a ride in EU well above the speed limit, get pulled over by RT-mounted police and tell me that they are not professional - even though the cop will have either full leathers (as I have seen in UK, Austria and few other countries) or full-textile suit (have seen in France & Germany among others)

I call the arguments mentioned above Bull-Shit.

This intimidation/professional baloney is in the same league as some of police departments here getting after-market loud pipes (I kid you not!), because, after all, they have to present the NASTY image.

Luckily, I have never been pulled over "in anger" on the bike in Europe, only in routine traffic checkpoints (getting stopped in a car is a different story, does not count on this forum, he, he... ) but can tell you that they exude an air of authority and professionalism as much if not more than some of my LEO encounters stateside. I often stop for pictures and talk to the cops en-route (a weird habit of mine) - and the more I do that the more angry I feel about the un-professional approach of motor cops here.

Just like the loud-pipes / t-shirt/sandals/stunting crowd here, it serves to enhance their self-image, but does a great disservice to the perception of motorcyclists by the American public.

So, it's BS here all over. Think about it next time you are denied medical insurance coverage for riding a bike or are forbidden to ride at your destination.

Remember, Joe Q Public is not impressed by your Hollister-style look; thinks we are all a bunch of jerks that should be banned from public roads.


I am puzzled as to what in my post (or any of the others) would be "bull-shit arguments."

I'm not sure that any motor officer I've ever known (and that would be hundreds) would say that the half- or 3/4-helmets we wear on duty make us look more intimidating. My personal opinion is that they look rather silly--if I wanted to look intimidating, I'd pick a glossy black full-face with dark smoke face shield, perhaps airbrush sharks teeth on it or a skull face, but certainly not some "Ponch and Jon CHiPS helmet."

One of the reasons the department I believe you are referencing in your "loud aftermarket pipes" comment above got the upgrade was not for additional "auditory visibility," but for additional horsepower. If we're talking about the same agency, they gave their Harley Davidson police bikes a "stage 1" kit, which included "Screamin' Eagle" pipes and a re-mapping of their ECU's (which, interestingly, is what Harley has done with some of their bikes for bid to enable them to compete with RT-P's because it allows them to meet required specs for top speed in some California cities).

No one has said, hinted, or intimated that Euro cops in full leathers and full-faced helmets are ANY less professional, or that their appearance is any less professional than the typical American motor officer in typical "motor cop" attire. Not sure where you get that from the above comments.

I'm also not sure why you have such negative comments about American motor officers ("...the more angry I feel about the un-professional approach of motor cops here..."). A HUGE part of the Motor Officer's job is public relations, because of their increased visibility and more personal contact with the public--the motorcycle breaks down barriers that a squad car creates, kids love the motorcycles, and people who would never in a million years talk to a cop are happy to strike up a conversation with one on a motorcycle--so I am sorry that your experience has been different.

I'm happy to say that I've met and worked with hundreds of motor officers from tens of dozens of agencies nationwide, and they are the sharpest, most squared-away, well-trained, professionals I've ever seen short of Military drill teams--certainly not "Hollister -style" hooligans by any means. Whatever has happened in your past that has resulted in such a negative opinion, I'm sorry for your experience. I hope you're able to move past it at some point.

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post #11 of 37 Old Oct 15th, 2009, 3:06 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

As a LEO and an HD police motorcycle instructor I can answer this question. We have the choice of 1/2 or 3/4 prefering a 3/4 helmet for neck support. We are not permitted to use a full face helmet.

First reason is for vision. When you wear a full face helmet some peripheral vision is lost. A 1/2 or 3/4 gives you the most span of vision in the quickest time.

The second reason is identification. If we wore a full face helmet people would not stop. Periodically we have a police impersonator and the media go crazy telling everyone not to stop even for a marked unit and drive to a police station. You would be suprised how many times I have stopped someone on a marked unit in full uniform and they ask for identification.

I do wear a full face flip helmet off duty.
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post #12 of 37 Old Oct 15th, 2009, 3:26 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Since this thread started I began looking. I've seen 5 motor officers, 3 in flip face helmets 2 in 3/4 helmets. I understand the issues with full coverage helmets, although in most cases I think the argument is largely emotional not entirely factual. I think the flip face is a good compromise with added safety and still provides quick facial exposure for ID. I'm sure there are still motor officers around here with 1/2 helmets just didn't see any in the last 3 days.

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post #13 of 37 Old Oct 15th, 2009, 3:45 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Cops wear the helmets they wear because it allows for easy mouth to donut access.
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post #14 of 37 Old Oct 15th, 2009, 3:47 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Uh Oh. Did I say that outloud?
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post #15 of 37 Old Oct 15th, 2009, 4:00 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkimmel2
Cops wear the helmets they wear because it allows for easy mouth to donut access.
After all these debateable statements, yours is indisputable

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post #16 of 37 Old Oct 15th, 2009, 10:21 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Hey, I liked donuts before I joined the force...

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post #17 of 37 Old Oct 16th, 2009, 11:18 am Thread Starter
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkimmel2
Cops wear the helmets they wear because it allows for easy mouth to donut access.
OK BUDDY... pull over. License and registration.

Excuse me for a moment while I wipe the powdered sugar off my face.


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post #18 of 37 Old Oct 16th, 2009, 11:26 am Thread Starter
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hphammer
As a LEO and an HD police motorcycle instructor I can answer this question. We have the choice of 1/2 or 3/4 prefering a 3/4 helmet for neck support. We are not permitted to use a full face helmet.

First reason is for vision. When you wear a full face helmet some peripheral vision is lost. A 1/2 or 3/4 gives you the most span of vision in the quickest time.

The second reason is identification. If we wore a full face helmet people would not stop. Periodically we have a police impersonator and the media go crazy telling everyone not to stop even for a marked unit and drive to a police station. You would be suprised how many times I have stopped someone on a marked unit in full uniform and they ask for identification.

I do wear a full face flip helmet off duty.
I'll go for the peripheral vision explanation 100%.

I've got a full face and 3/4. Funny thing is when I'm driving in city traffic I MUCH prefer the 3/4 helmet since I have much better "situational awareness" - but really NEED the full face for protection since there is much better chance I'm going to get creamed. I feel blind wearing a full face, except on open roads.

I've been looking for a long time for a full face that allows full peripheral vision...


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post #19 of 37 Old Oct 16th, 2009, 11:29 am Thread Starter
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Re: Because they prefer a macho NASTY image over a professional one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by petevandyke
I am puzzled as to what in my post (or any of the others) would be "bull-shit arguments."

I'm not sure that any motor officer I've ever known (and that would be hundreds) would say that the half- or 3/4-helmets we wear on duty make us look more intimidating. My personal opinion is that they look rather silly--if I wanted to look intimidating, I'd pick a glossy black full-face with dark smoke face shield, perhaps airbrush sharks teeth on it or a skull face, but certainly not some "Ponch and Jon CHiPS helmet."

One of the reasons the department I believe you are referencing in your "loud aftermarket pipes" comment above got the upgrade was not for additional "auditory visibility," but for additional horsepower. If we're talking about the same agency, they gave their Harley Davidson police bikes a "stage 1" kit, which included "Screamin' Eagle" pipes and a re-mapping of their ECU's (which, interestingly, is what Harley has done with some of their bikes for bid to enable them to compete with RT-P's because it allows them to meet required specs for top speed in some California cities).

No one has said, hinted, or intimated that Euro cops in full leathers and full-faced helmets are ANY less professional, or that their appearance is any less professional than the typical American motor officer in typical "motor cop" attire. Not sure where you get that from the above comments.

I'm also not sure why you have such negative comments about American motor officers ("...the more angry I feel about the un-professional approach of motor cops here..."). A HUGE part of the Motor Officer's job is public relations, because of their increased visibility and more personal contact with the public--the motorcycle breaks down barriers that a squad car creates, kids love the motorcycles, and people who would never in a million years talk to a cop are happy to strike up a conversation with one on a motorcycle--so I am sorry that your experience has been different.

I'm happy to say that I've met and worked with hundreds of motor officers from tens of dozens of agencies nationwide, and they are the sharpest, most squared-away, well-trained, professionals I've ever seen short of Military drill teams--certainly not "Hollister -style" hooligans by any means. Whatever has happened in your past that has resulted in such a negative opinion, I'm sorry for your experience. I hope you're able to move past it at some point.
Wow, I agree Pete... that was the strangest response to a post I've seen in a long time.

Well, that is, except for some of mine.


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post #20 of 37 Old Oct 16th, 2009, 2:41 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
I'll go for the peripheral vision explanation 100%.

I've got a full face and 3/4. Funny thing is when I'm driving in city traffic I MUCH prefer the 3/4 helmet since I have much better "situational awareness" - but really NEED the full face for protection since there is much better chance I'm going to get creamed. I feel blind wearing a full face, except on open roads.

I've been looking for a long time for a full face that allows full peripheral vision...

take a look at the new Shoei X-12 and r-1100, they have a new shell material that has allowed them to make the eye openings larger (and the face shields larger) than before--supposedly the largest in the market.

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post #21 of 37 Old Oct 16th, 2009, 3:00 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Common sense tells my that for all that they have to do while working; on and off the bike over and over, talking to people, making eye contact, comfort, etc. is why most police officers/departments use 1/2 or 3/4 helmets. It is a compromise (like most things in this world) between their safety and being efficient. They can do their job all day long without ever having to take their helmet off if necessary.

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post #22 of 37 Old Oct 16th, 2009, 5:33 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by petevandyke
take a look at the new Shoei X-12 and r-1100, they have a new shell material that has allowed them to make the eye openings larger (and the face shields larger) than before--supposedly the largest in the market.
Thanks for the heads up - hard to tell from the pix - but this is one I gotta try on.

Not inexpensive, but there's the old saying about if you have a $100.00 head buy a $100.00 helmet...


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post #23 of 37 Old Oct 19th, 2009, 4:09 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueknightga6
Ok, I'll chime in here. In dealing with the public as a motor officer does (it's their job to go out and make traffic stops) there is unfortunately the identification and the intimidation/appearance issue. Not everyone is a hardened criminal by no means. The people who would complain the most would be the people who only have contact with law enforcement through the occassional traffic stop. And yes a full faced helmet would "scare" some of them. A half or 3/4 allows the vilolator to see the officers face. Yes a flip up helmet would take care of that. But in our line of work there are always those who would keep it down just for the intimidation factor.

Don't think this is serious or true? I now work in my department's internal affairs unit. A woman came in and wanted to file a complaint about the female officer "brutalizing" her during her arrest for domestic violence. It was undisputed she was the primary aggressor and the only marks she could show were from her husband "trying to get me away from him". Know how she was "brutalized"? The officer used "a commanding prescence and spoke loudly when I didn't want to be arrested. While I was trying not to be handcuffed she told me to relax and cooperate or she might have to pepper spray me. So I cooperated." She was not sprayed, she was not hit, but "She didn't have to talk to me that way."

Yes a full face helmet would be safer but there are reasons.
I am afraid this argument of "Intimidation" just doesn't cut the mustard.
Europe, Australia and virtually all western nations police use flip up helmets. Large numbers of people are used to it. I just don't believe this argument.
There is obviously a bigger reason?
regards


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post #24 of 37 Old Oct 19th, 2009, 5:14 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCH
I am afraid this argument of "Intimidation" just doesn't cut the mustard.
Europe, Australia and virtually all western nations police use flip up helmets. Large numbers of people are used to it. I just don't believe this argument.
There is obviously a bigger reason?
regards

It's not THE reason, just one of MANY reasons.

Read the full thread, if you would be so kind.

To summarize...these are the reasons most, but not all, motor officers in the United States wear half or 3/4 helmets:

1. That's what they've been wearing for years (departments are slow to change, and PEOPLE are slow to change--plus, different helmets = massive equipment changes which are expensive)

2. Better peripheral vision

3. Better air flow/cooling

4. Better visibility of the officer by the public--something that is expected here in the States, more so than in other countries

5. More "approachability"

6. Ability for the officer to keep the helmet on during traffic stops, rather than having to de-helmet (allowing a small margin of extra safety, quicker return to the bike if necessary)

7. Potential reduction of "intimidation factor" among SOME members of the public who might get put off by someone wearing a full-face helmet, particularly if that restricted sound of voice, or ability to see an officer's face

8. "because that's what the motor units in the agencies around us do" (see #1)

9. Identification (full face helmets could be "anyone" but a half or 3/4 helmet with a badge on it is recognized as "the police")

and

10. (jokingly) easy access to donuts


So, no, the intimidation thing isn't the only argument (not sure why "argument" is the word being tossed around here), it's one of many. As discussed, some agencies are using flip-up/modular helmets as a best-of-both-worlds answer.


Of course that's only my opinion, that and $6 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

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post #25 of 37 Old Oct 19th, 2009, 5:55 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCH
I am afraid this argument of "Intimidation" just doesn't cut the mustard.
Europe, Australia and virtually all western nations police use flip up helmets. Large numbers of people are used to it. I just don't believe this argument.
There is obviously a bigger reason?
regards
Like others have said it's only ONE reason. Beleive me, I was a motor officer in large southeastern city and in the summer I don't know how it would've been with a full face helment in July & August in downtown traffic or directing traffic. The helmet is safer and makes you more visible while directing traffic. Peripheral vision is essential then. And how do you use a whistle with a full face helmet?

Then again it just like you said in the countries you mentioned it's just as you said. They're used to it. Look at the riding apparel of many European motorcyclists or BMW riders in general. Protective, armored gear. Look at the American motorcyclist and the pirate costume!

Like I said earlier. People here complain because the officer used an "authoritative voice". Can you imagine those same people approached by a motor officer with a full face helmet? Yes there are modulars, but it's also true that there are officers who would keep it down just because they can.

Edit: By "people here" I did not mean the forum! I meant citizens who don't the authoritative tone of the police officer !

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post #26 of 37 Old Oct 19th, 2009, 6:24 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
This must be POLICE week here on Discovery Channel.

OK, this has been bothering me for quite a while... why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets? We all know they are much safer, and it seems like it would set a good example for other riders.

Maybe there are some departments that DO - but I don't think I've ever seen one. Is this a machismo thing?

Is it the same kind of "old school" thinking that led the Tucson police department (where it frequently get over 100 degrees) to buy 46 new AIR COOLED Harleys instead of RTP's?

OK, everyone sing along: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire....
Come ride/work with me and you would understand and defend us.

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post #27 of 37 Old Oct 20th, 2009, 5:32 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorman587
Come ride/work with me and you would understand and defend us.
I think Ron is defending you. He's trying to protect that handsome kisser should you meet the belt sander that is the roadway. I'm seeing Ponch & Jon melon cups, 3/4 & flip face here. Look at the % impact zones again. Ron don't want scar face writing his next speeding ticket. We love you guys and don't want you to loose face.

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post #28 of 37 Old Oct 21st, 2009, 1:07 am
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by petevandyke
It's not THE reason, just one of MANY reasons.

Read the full thread, if you would be so kind.

To summarize...these are the reasons most, but not all, motor officers in the United States wear half or 3/4 helmets:

1. That's what they've been wearing for years (departments are slow to change, and PEOPLE are slow to change--plus, different helmets = massive equipment changes which are expensive)

2. Better peripheral vision

3. Better air flow/cooling

4. Better visibility of the officer by the public--something that is expected here in the States, more so than in other countries

5. More "approachability"

6. Ability for the officer to keep the helmet on during traffic stops, rather than having to de-helmet (allowing a small margin of extra safety, quicker return to the bike if necessary)

7. Potential reduction of "intimidation factor" among SOME members of the public who might get put off by someone wearing a full-face helmet, particularly if that restricted sound of voice, or ability to see an officer's face

8. "because that's what the motor units in the agencies around us do" (see #1)

9. Identification (full face helmets could be "anyone" but a half or 3/4 helmet with a badge on it is recognized as "the police")

and

10. (jokingly) easy access to donuts


So, no, the intimidation thing isn't the only argument (not sure why "argument" is the word being tossed around here), it's one of many. As discussed, some agencies are using flip-up/modular helmets as a best-of-both-worlds answer.


Of course that's only my opinion, that and $6 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Thanks
I have actually read the whole thread. My point is LEO's in other constituencies wear flip up helmets, which give full face protection on the bike and confidence face value off the bike.
All of your points, except tradition, are solved by a flip up helmet.

Safety surely must be more important than tradition.
Heat in Qld is equal to anything in southern sates of USA , and the cops all wear Flip ups.
get with the program guys.
all the best
PCH


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post #29 of 37 Old Oct 21st, 2009, 11:27 am Thread Starter
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorman587
Come ride/work with me and you would understand and defend us.
I'm actually quite the law and order kinda' guy.

My Dad was a career FBI agent.

I guess my initial question was prompted by the the difference between most European agencies with full riding armor, hi-vis fluorescent green jackets and full face or flip helmets.

The guys in Tucson wear half helmets, long sleeve dark blue shirts - probably polyester and zero armor except for maybe a bullet proof vest which probably is the last thing you need in get off. The old school calf high boots and brand spankin' new HD's contribute to the look. I think it's a fashion statement and definitely old school or "traditional" - right out of the 1950's. While it's definitely all business with them, if I was their Commanding Officer I would have more concern about injuries sustained in a crash versus looking good.

If I was patrolling in Tucson it would be with a flip helmet, full mesh armored jacket and pants made from silver Aramid fabric with reflective striping and a pair of Nike sprinting shoes.

Our illegals can jump fences, swim and run faster than you could ever believe. That's why most Latin American countries can't field an Olympic team next year - they're already here.


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post #30 of 37 Old Oct 21st, 2009, 11:41 am
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Our illegals can jump fences, swim and run faster than you could ever believe.
In order to run faster and jump higher, we need to bring back Red Ball Jets!
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post #31 of 37 Old Oct 21st, 2009, 11:48 am Thread Starter
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted
In order to run faster and jump higher, we need to bring back Red Ball Jets!
I was more of a Jack Purcell man... but I do seem to remember having some Red Balls and Keds when I was a bit younger!
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post #32 of 37 Old Oct 22nd, 2009, 5:10 am
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
I'm actually quite the law and order kinda' guy.

My Dad was a career FBI agent.

I guess my initial question was prompted by the the difference between most European agencies with full riding armor, hi-vis fluorescent green jackets and full face or flip helmets.

The guys in Tucson wear half helmets, long sleeve dark blue shirts - probably polyester and zero armor except for maybe a bullet proof vest which probably is the last thing you need in get off. The old school calf high boots and brand spankin' new HD's contribute to the look. I think it's a fashion statement and definitely old school or "traditional" - right out of the 1950's. While it's definitely all business with them, if I was their Commanding Officer I would have more concern about injuries sustained in a crash versus looking good.

If I was patrolling in Tucson it would be with a flip helmet, full mesh armored jacket and pants made from silver Aramid fabric with reflective striping and a pair of Nike sprinting shoes.

Our illegals can jump fences, swim and run faster than you could ever believe. That's why most Latin American countries can't field an Olympic team next year - they're already here.
Well, first you have to bring this to the attention of the people in charge. In my "chain of command", I have to go/convince a Sgt. Lt. Capt. Major and then the Chief. Right now if you change all the things that "you" want, which, and I am not disagreeing with you, you are looking at a lot of $$$. We just got new Hiviz jackets, which was a pain to get those approved, but in the end everyone likes them.

You have to deal with the heat, and that was my comment about come and ride with me. One a summer day, gear up. Do some stop and goes in a parking lot with you getting off and on. Getting something out of your saddle bag and write something on a piece of paper. Try and do what a motor officer would do in a shift. See how long anybody would last. Again, I am not disagreeing with the argument.

I do respectfully disagree about the bullet proof vest. Many years a go, we had a motor go down on the interstate and what saved his skin was his bullet proof vest. The bullet proof vest in some cases have same Kelvar as jackets and pants of motorcycle clothing.

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post #33 of 37 Old Oct 22nd, 2009, 7:51 am
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorman587
Well, first you have to bring this to the attention of the people in charge. In my "chain of command", I have to go/convince a Sgt. Lt. Capt. Major and then the Chief. Right now if you change all the things that "you" want, which, and I am not disagreeing with you, you are looking at a lot of $$$. We just got new Hiviz jackets, which was a pain to get those approved, but in the end everyone likes them.

You have to deal with the heat, and that was my comment about come and ride with me. One a summer day, gear up. Do some stop and goes in a parking lot with you getting off and on. Getting something out of your saddle bag and write something on a piece of paper. Try and do what a motor officer would do in a shift. See how long anybody would last. Again, I am not disagreeing with the argument.

I do respectfully disagree about the bullet proof vest. Many years a go, we had a motor go down on the interstate and what saved his skin was his bullet proof vest. The bullet proof vest in some cases have same Kelvar as jackets and pants of motorcycle clothing.
on the body armor issue. We had a guy go down one day and somehow managed to slide on nothing but his back (and 1/2 helmet for a bit) for a short distance. His handcuff case, uniform shirt and body aramour were destroyed. The short slide wore through a few layers of the kevlar but the only injury was soreness and hurt pride. We were wearing Point Blank vests at the time and they still replaced it even though it wasn't a gunshot or an edged weapon.

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post #34 of 37 Old Oct 27th, 2009, 2:43 am
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueknightga6
.....I now work in my department's internal affairs unit....
And I'm on the POA board! Imagine the war stories we could exchange?!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #35 of 37 Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 8:56 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

As has been noted in this thread, many European police motorcyclists wear flip-up helmets. - And full leathers. The road surface is just as abrasive when it's hot as it is when it's cool.

When I lived in Belgium, the son of a friend went on holiday to Spain. He was wearing an open-face helmet and he came off his bike. He lost most of his lower jaw. He died 3 months later.

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post #36 of 37 Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 9:42 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

I suspect the reason most motorcycle police wear what they do is because of tradition.
"It is the way we've always done it " comes to mind.

But before that, It was pretty amazing if anyone wore a helmet and down in Florida no one does now. Pretty Bizarre seeing that and of course Harley is king in those areas.

But in my view the shorty helmet allows a traffic cop to hear better behind the big windshield and hear his radio , again old fashioned since they could have them in helmets. But when they pull up beside you in the city and tell you to pull over it might
be hard with a full helmet on to even get your attention. LOL

Those were my ideas about why they do it the old way. Traditon , convention, cooler in summer and easy to get off and on and not necessary to even take them off although when it is really hot down here, I've seen them take them off while they write someone up.

No matter where you go , there you are.
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post #37 of 37 Old Nov 8th, 2009, 7:26 pm
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Re: Why don't LEO's in the US wear full face helmets?

My department wears flip ups and all patches/badges on uniform are reflective. In winter, full Aerostich suits are the norm. While in town on warm days, the ride with the face shield up for the most part, but once they get on the freeway, they close up. When they first went to flip up Schuberths, the only requirement was to have the front flipped up when talking to people. They were and are allowed to have the internal visor down.

As for full face causing identification issues, are you serious? Generally speaking the marked bike, the uniform etc get people past the, hey, I have never seen that guy before, I think he is an imposter stage of the the traffic stop.

My department was slow going to the flip front and Aerostich for the same reason they were slow to go to BMW bikes. Cost and tradition. Nothing else.
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