In the 1890’s police departments in the United States utilized bicycles as a means of transportation as well as apprehending motor vehicle violators. As automobiles evolved police departments utilized motorcycles to accomplish these functions. The police motorcycle has been used as an effective tool for motor vehicle enforcement and as a first responder to emergency calls since that time. Police departments of all sizes and in all states utilize these valuable law enforcement tools. The Nashua Police Department is no different.
Two wheeled Harley-Davidson motorcycles were used by the Nashua Police Department prior to 1964 when a tragic accident took the life of Officer Edward C. Graziano. Officer Graziano was a motorcycle officer killed in the line of duty while on his motorcycle. Following this tragedy, the Nashua Police Department did not utilize motorcycles for a period. Motorcycles returned in the late 1970’s in the form of three wheeled Honda motorcycles. These were viewed by the administration of the day as more stable; however, they did not have the power, speed or maneuverability of a conventional two wheeled motorcycle. In 1989 the Nashua Police Department again returned to two wheeled Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Today the Nashua Police Department operates four such motorcycles, two 1997 and two 2010 Police Road King motorcycles. These have proven to be durable and tend to hold resale value better that their Japanese and European counterparts.
The Motorcycle Unit at the Nashua Police Department consists of One Captain, one Lieutenant, one Sergeant Training Specialist, two working Sergeants, one Training Officer, six primary officers and two reserve officers. Sergeant Robert Giggi and Officer Adam Anderson are both certified instructors through Northwest Traffic Institute and Harley-Davidson. In this capacity these officers oversee the training of new officers and the annual re-certification of existing officers in the Unit. Each new officer must undergo a two week training regiment, of which 90% of the time is spent on a motorcycle. There is a great difference between pleasure riding and riding a police motorcycle for an eight hour shift. More advanced skills are required to correctly and successfully operate a police motorcycle, as they are between 200 and 300 pounds heavier than a conventional motorcycle and their uses for police functions differ from that of pleasure riding.
The primary function of the Nashua Police Department’s Motorcycle Unit is motor vehicle enforcement. They also perform directed patrols in problem areas where their stealth and mobility enable more successful enforcement. They assist in crowd control, conduct funeral escorts, dignitary escorts and perform any other task as directed by the Chief of Police. Our motorcycles are popular at PAL events, Department Open Houses, Citizen Academy classes or any other gathering where people wish to view a piece of equipment that has a history, as well as a future with the Nashua Police Department.
Should you have any questions or needs of our Motorcycle Unit please feel free to contact Captain Bruce Hansen at (603) 594-3500.