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Motor Unit

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Baltimore City Police Motors Unit

Motors Unit 1914 2014 arrow sm1st Motor Officers 1914

Baltimore's was organized on May 29, 1914, consisting of 5 members of the department.
From L-R: Patrolman Schleigh, Bateman, Pepersack, Vocke, Louis. Patrolman George J. Louis would rise through the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant to become the commander of the unit. 

The Baltimore Police Department's Motor's Unit was formed on 29 May 1914 with 5 Indian twin cylinder motorcycles. Their main duty was to chase down speeding horse-drawn vehicles but that quickly changed with the growing number of automobiles.  The unit has been in continuous operation since 1914.  In the beginning, they worked out of the Districts but in the 1930's they were reassigned to the newly formed Traffic Division, and were designated as the Traffic Enforcement Section, Motorcycle Unit (the division also had a parking control unit, a foot traffic unit that directed traffic downtown, and an accident investigation unit).  The number of officers has risen and fallen several times due to finances, or safety issues but is alive and well today.  The recently appointed commissioner is from California and he is a supporter of s.  Harley Davidson is the only brand used today and has been since 1920 when a Harley shop opened in Baltimore.  The department used Cushmans, and small Hondas but these were used for foot beat officers to get to their posts.


The patch seen most often worn by members of the "Motors Unit" depicting a "Wheel" with an "Arrow" and "Wings", has long been said to stand for the riders as being "Straight as an Arrow" and  "Free as a Bird"

James Pate moters
Courtesy JoAnn Oliphant Voelker
1972 Motors Unit

Left to Right. Sgt. Unk. - Officer Ronald Neff - Officer Charles Richter - Unkown Officer - Officer James Pate - Officer Arthur "Otts" Bailey - Unknown officer - Officer Richard Bernhart - Officer Robert Gay - Sgt. Michael Timchula.

Keernes 2
Courtesy Cliff Keerans
P/O Ernie Keerans - Better Known As" "Grey Hairs."


Sydney Hyatt, Ron Mullen, Buddy" P" Palughi 

Courtesy Cliff Keerans
P/O Ernie Keerans was better known as "Grey Hairs."

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Courtesy Cliff Keerans
P/O Ernie Keerans was better known as "Grey Hairs."

Keernes 4
Courtesy Cliff Keerans
P/O Ernie Keerans was better known as "Grey Hairs."

Elmer Bowen 1940s
Courtesy Bill Bowen
Elmer Bowen and Unknown Partner 1940's

BPD Motors
Pennewell 1958
Pennewell 1958

Motors Sketch

Jan 12, 1921

Motorcycle Side - Cars New Crime Deterrent

The Sun (1837-1989); pg. 16

Motorcycle Side-Cars New Crime Deterrent Latest Police Vehicles to Have Hand and Foot Cuffs Attached To Secure Prisoners.

A measure intended as a deterrent to crime waves is about to be adopted by the Baltimore police department – in the form of a motorcycle side-car.

In New York, they recently equipped the police department with side-car motorcycles, and more than 20 sergeants have applied for retirement. The sidecars were provided for the sergeants to ride in. In Baltimore, the sidecars are for criminals.

To make the deterrent stronger, the Baltimore sidecars are to be equipped with handcuffs and foot cuffs [leg-irons]. They have the effect of locking the criminal securely to the side-car.

Not only will a criminal be unable to escape while going around a curve at 70 miles an hour, but he will not be jarred loose by collisions with stone walls, telephone poles, storefronts or furniture van. In the case of an accident, the motorcycle rider may leap and possibly save himself, but the criminal will, in every case, go down with his side-car.

In all, 136 of these side-car motorcycles are expected in Baltimore within the next week or two. They will be distributed among the six police districts recently increased in size by annexation.

Baltimore Sun Paper pic - Photographer Carl Harris
Cycling Blue-Jacket

The police department is trying out three new Honda cycles for use in the city parks and high traffic areas. It plans to buy 22 of the two-wheelers if they are found suitable for the job. The cycles, which cost $350 each, are intended to beef up patrols in the parks and can travel just about anywhere a man can walk you. Seated on the bike is Officer Thomas Keavney Central Operations unit 1973




Baltimore City Police Officer on one of the first motorcycles used in Baltimore.


 In just a few short years the unit more than doubled. The is seen here in Druid Hill Park. c. 1916 

 Patrolman George J. Louis is operating the bike on the far left


Motor-Cycle Police Equipped With Automatic Speed Witness

Old newspaper Stories of the Times - Apr 11, 1928; pg. 3

When you hear the sharp blast of the policeman’s whistle and you pull to the side of the road after slowing down from the 35 or 40 miles an hour you were driving, do not prepare that familiar old refrain, “officer I was only going 12 or 15 miles.”

This old, old story, which is falling on the ears of traffic patrolman since the birth of the “horseless carriage” and speed laws, will avail to motorists nothing as far as Baltimore’s traffic police are concerned.

New speedometer used

They are prepared to “storm and was figures, which everyone says, never lie. The way in which they will do it will be through a newly perfected speedometer, with which the majority of the traffic division’s motorcycles have been equipped.

It is a simple device, much like any other speedometer, except that pressure of a little button stops it from registering and retains on the dial the rate of speed at which the machine was going.

Thus, the motorcycle patrolman paces of the motorists until he goes faster than the law permits, pushes the button on the Speedometer and when he pulls up he has something tangible to put before him, or her, as the case may be.

Explains “Automatic Witness.”

Capt. Hamilton R. Atkinson, of the traffic division, explains the new “automatic witness” yesterday and the use to which it is being put by his men.

“We have found it of great benefit so far,” he said, “as it gives the policeman something concrete on which to base his charge of speeding.”

The state police will make trial tests of the new devices for speedometers, E. Austin Baughman, Commissioner of motor vehicles, announces.


  The unit continues to grow in size as the department realizes the motor officers are becoming a valuable asset. c. 1920's.



Photo courtesy Lt. Janet Ensor, Baltimore Co. Police

 Lieutenant George J. Louis, Commander of the Department's


Photo courtesy Raymond K. Miles Jr.

 Officer Raymond K. Miles, pictured above and below, served in the motorcycle unit for three years 1932-1935


Photo courtesy Raymond K. Miles Jr.

  Photo courtesy Raymond K. Miles Jr.


Photo courtesy Lt. Janet Ensor, Baltimore Co. Police
Lieutenant George J. Louis, Commander of the Department's , January 9, 1942

Officer Joseph Ireton Rial patroled the streets of Baltimore City for most of his career on a motorcycle.


Motorcycle crew, B-Division, in front of the headquarters building
October 21, 1940

  Motorcycle Division, 7:30 am. Section, in front of the Headquarters Building October 24, 1940



Photo courtesy of Nancy Crane-Bentz Officer Eugene Crane on the left escorting movie star Molly Goldberg with another officer (name unknown) and Molly's husband while on a visit to Baltimore.

  Photo courtesy of Nancy Crane-Bentz  Baltimore Police Presidential detail being greeted by President John F. Kennedy during the 1960's  Officer Eugene Crane is positioned the 5th officer from the left


 Officer William Weiss and Gene Autry



 Officer Sinnott




Officer Ray Unger, 1967 on his "Motor" on the ramp of the old Headquarters building 601 E. Fayette St.


 1960's three-wheeler used in traffic enforcement in the downtown area





 Sergeant Richard D. Taylor



 Photo courtesy Officer Lawrence Merrifield
Officer Lawrence  Merrifield  1964

 Officer Charles Alfinito



 BPD Motor Officer 1977


 Motorcycle license plates used during the 1960’s


100 years of Motormen 72
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Robert Harrison 1
Robert Harrison
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Robert Harrison
motorcop Dave Eastman
Photo Courtesy Officer Dave Eastman
Headquarters circa 1976


Retired Officer Dave Eastman relates:

When I went to motors, they had 1968 models. They had the radio in the box on the back and the speaker and microphone were mounted between the handlebars. They were the old 150 band radios. We had gone to the 450 band radios ( the walkie-talkies) but we could still use the 150s because communications were not fully converted to the 450. The '64s were a dark silver with black trim. They were the first ones with chrome rather than painted wheels. I don't believe they had two-way radios and I think the guy's call box theory is correct. In the old days, the department had lots of motormen and they worked three shifts. The midnight shift had two motormen teamed up in a car. They did not ride motors late at night. If you look at that one photo, they are all motor officer, over 50 of them. they all took the wires out of there hats and had that "50 mission" crush. They said it prevented the wind from blowing their hats off but I think it was just to look cool. They wore the blue hats back then. Major "Box" Harris, who was beloved by all, was appointed by Commissioner Pomerleau to be chief of traffic even though he was never a cop. He had the division go to all white hats sometime in the late 60's. Motormen also did not wear high boots, but rather high topped shoes and "puttees". which were leather and wrapped around the calf. They were held in place by two buckles and joined the high topped shoes at the ankle. One of the most unique features of the Baltimore Police motorcycles were the foot clutch and the tank or side shift. The officer worked the clutch with his left for and shifted gears with his left hand. You can see the shift lever in the photos. Many officers had billiard balls ( number 8 being the most popular) drilled and tapped to screw on the shift lever. Also, in the photos, you can see the siren mounted just behind the officers' left foot. To activate the siren, the officer would stomp on a lever which made the siren shaft rub against the rear tire. This made the siren scream and they were quite loud. Every once in a while the shaft would actually go through the side of the tire causing a blowout, not a good thing when you are chasing a speeding car! If you notice, the older motor officers had leather coats. Commissioner Pomerleau did not like leather coats and took them away from the motor and mounted officers. They got them back after Pomerleau retired.

"Motorcops" 1975 at the opening of the Jones Falls Expressway extension from Guilford Ave. to Fayette St.

Left to right are Sgt. John Cowan, Officers David Eastman,  Pete Richter, and Hal Davenport
Sgt George T Owens3 Military Escort
Officer Chris Boetker  (left) Sergeant George Owens (right)

 (Left) Officer James Carter, middle with back turned Sergeant Joseph Garrity, next to him looking at window Officer Charles Alfonso

Sgt George T Owens4 Military Escort Letter


Sgt George T Owens 1981
Sergeant George T. Owens, Sr. 1981
 Sgt George T Owens2
 Baltimore Marathon December 7, 1980



By: Agent Tom Douglas

Motor training class where we have issued our Harley with no saddlebags or lights/sirens. We practiced at Fort Amsted's open space. We learned on the macadam surface first. We would be lined along a curb, facing roadside. Then each had to kick start the bike, kick the kickstand up and make an immediate hard right turn, remaining in the right lane of traffic. No crossing the center line. Was difficult at first but became easy as days passed. Had to learn the correct way to pick up a fallen bike. Involved turning the wheel so it is pointing skyward, then grabbing the left handlebar and the back of the seat then lift with all your might. Lifting a 900 + motorcycle any other way would cause a hernia.

After all mastered riding, the instructor rolled up an old tee shirt and tied it into a big knot. We then played "tag" in the open field. Once it, one had to catch up to another rider and hit him with the balled up shirt. If missed, had to go get it and the chase was on again. In this maneuver, all learned control of a bike under, stressful and uneven terrain. One officer lost his wallet so we spend much of that day doing grid searches of that large overgrown field. Never did find it. I was amazed that no one was injured with the tomfoolery involved in playing "it."


 (Above) Agent Tom Douglas and Officer Mike DeHaven motor training 1975 

(Below) Officer Mike Dehaven, Agent Douglas, Off Tom Richburg and Officer Ed German


Courtesy Lt.Tom Douglas
Agent Tom Douglas
Courtesy Lt.Tom Douglas
coc82Officer Gueydan
Courtesy Lt. Tom Douglas
Courtesy Lt.Tom Douglas
(Above) Agent Tom Douglas shooting RADAR
(Below) Officers Mike DeHaven, Norman Stamp and Officer Tom Richburg
Courtesy Lt.Tom Douglas
Officer Tom Douglas & Officer Norman Stamp

Courtesy Lt.Tom Douglas

Agent Tom Douglas directing ball game traffic at 33rd. & Charles St.

 Sergeant Tom Douglas at the Statehouse with the Governor 



Photo courtesy Officer Scott Thomas
Officer Scott Thomas participating in the Motorcycle  Rodeo

Photo courtesy Officer Scott Thomas


Officer Scott Thomas on the left, Officer Bill Council on the right, & Hallet Davenport between them accepting trophies at the rodeo dinner.

MC_Rodeo-5.jpgOfficer Scott Thomas on the left, & Hallet Davenport accepting trophies at the rodeo dinner.


Motorcycle team presenting the 1st Place trophy to the Commissioner Edward Tilghman
Photo courtesy Officer Tom Bailey
Officer Hal Davenport & Officer Tom Bailey
Photo courtesy Officer Tom Bailey
Officer Tom Bailey with Memorial Stadium in the background
Motor-K9 1981
Officer Gary Green on the motor and K9 Officer Dave Gunter with K9 "TSAR" 1981

 lieutenant_anthony_brown.jpg Lieutenant Anthony Brown


1969 Harley Davidson used by Officer Milton Krysztofiak when he was first assigned to Motors in 1980. It was equipped with the side shifter and the foot clutch. As Officer Dave Eastman mentions the pool ball on top of the shifter, Milt got the “Q” ball. Below is a photo of some of the motormen after completing an escort of Vice President Al Gore at Fort McHenry. The Officers from left to right are Officer Milton Krysztofiak, shaking Al Gore's hand, next to him is Officer Gary Green, then Officer Tony Brown, and Sergeant Tom Joyce.

 Andy Girodano Bob Frisch Tony Petralia Photo courtesy Officer John Emrick
Pictured from left to right are Officer Andy Girodano of TES, Officer Bob Frisch of TES and Officer Tony Petralia

 V_P_Al_Gore.jpgPhoto courtesy Officer Milton Krysztofiak
A few of the motormen after completing an escort of Vice President Al Gore at Fort McHenry. The Officers from left to right are, Officer Milton Krysztofiak, shaking Al Gore's hand, Officer Gary Green,  Officer Tony Brown, and Sgt. Tom Joyce

Reba.jpgPhoto courtesy Officer Milton Krysztofiak

Reba McEntire, reigning Queen of country music, was escorted by a few of Baltimore’s finest motor officers after an appearance at the Baltimore Arena. The photo was taken at BWI outside Reba's private jet. From left to right, Officer Dave Jones, Officer Milton Krysztofiak, Reba McEntire, Officer Mike Brandt and Officer Tom Joyce.

 Below photo taken at the University of Maryland Baltimore County at the awards ceremony for Special Olympics. Baltimore City Police motor officers were invited to give out the medals. From Left to right, Officer Michael Brandt, Officer Milton Krysztofiak, Officer Dave Jones, Sergeant Tom Joyce, and Off. Bill Edgar. 


 Photo courtesy Officer Milton Krysztofiak

Above photograph was taken at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County at the awards ceremony for Special Olympics. Baltimore City Police motor officers were invited to give out the medals.

Officer Michael Brandt, Officer Milton Krysztofiak, Officer Dave Jones, Sergeant Tom Joyce and Officer Bill Edgar. 


Courtesy Sergeant John Sharp

 Sergeant John Sharp by the Inner Harbor on one of the old side shifter bikes, around 1988. 


 TES (Motors) won the Mid-Atlantic Motorcycle Rodeo, first place team

 Commissioner Edward Tilghman holding the trophy on the left and Officer Hallet Davenport on the right. Officer Scott Thomas and Officer Norman Stamp is next to the Commissioner, Sergeant Tom Joyce next to Officer Davenport, Officer Debbie Fox, and Mike Dehaven,

 Back row: Officer Claud Thornton, Officer Bobbie Joe Dorton, Sergeant Sharp behind the trophy, and Officer Bill Council is behind Sergeant Joyce.


 Sergeant John Sharp with new Police Bike on Opening Day for the new stadium, April 1992.


 Officer Milton Krysztofiak taking Pope John Paul II’s hand just before kissing his ring. This Photo was taken in 1995 outside of St. Mary's Seminary just before he got on the helicopter to fly to the airport. Maryland State Police Major Johnny Hughes looks on.


The above photograph was taken at The Basilica on Charles St. three motor officers standing next to the popemobile. The Officers are from left to right, Officer Lonnie Ludtke, Officer Milton Krysztofiak and Officer Gary Green


 Lieutenant Gutberlet (Colonel) with the Popemobile

Lt. Carl Guiberlet holding the SUPER BOWL TROPHY


 2004 Harley Davidson Motorcycle on Baltimore's Federal Hill overlooking Baltimore's Inner Harbor.


 L/R Ofc. Brian Weber, Sgt. David Munyan, Ofc. Eric Dawson, Ofc. Bravett Bull & Ofc. Bryan Curran


Photo Courtesy Sergeant David Munyan

 2004 BPD Harley Davidson on Federal Hill overlooking Baltimore’s Harbor Place

 lon_sgt43E.jpgPhoto Courtesy Sergeant David Munyan

Motor Sergeant. David Munyan (Left) & Officer Lonnie Luedtke (right)
Photo was taken at Oriole Park @ Camden yards in Aug of 2000
Motor Sergeant. David Munyan (Left) & Officer Lonnie Luedtke (right)
Photo was taken at Oriole Park @ Camden yards in Aug of 2000

Sergeant David Munyan and his squad with Rocker Ted Nugent


 Sergeant David Munyan greats Rocker Ted Nugent during his tour in Baltimore, August 18, 2002

 Photo Courtesy Sergeant David Munyan

Wynonna Judd in Baltimore with Baltimore’s Finest

Wynonna poses on a Baltimore Police Motorcycle with Sergeant David Munyan and Lieutenant (Retired as a Colonel) Carl Guiberlet looking on. “Tough job guys


Courtesy Robert H Gordon
KSCN0003iiCourtesy Robert H Gordon
KSCN0004iiCourtesy Robert H Gordon
KSCN0005iiCourtesy Robert H Gordon
KSCN0007iiCourtesy Robert H Gordon

KSCN0008iiCourtesy Robert H Gordon
KSCN0009iiCourtesy Robert H Gordon
KSCN0010Courtesy Robert H Gordon
bob and mcCainCourtesy Robert H Gordon
Robert gordon and  with BrownCourtesy Robert H Gordon
bpd harley front fenderCourtesy Patty as a Gift for Our 30th Wedding Anniversary
BPD Front Fender
bpd Harley bagCourtesy Patty as a Gift for Our 30th Wedding Anniversary
BPD Saddle Bag


 Photo Courtesy Sergeant David Munyan 
 Sergeant David Munyan and his daughter Delaney


 Officer Bob Brown in the blue T-shirt looks on


Photo Courtesy of  Sgt. Nick Caprinolo

 A Promotion at the Lexington Market around 2000 entitled "Lunch With the Elephants, showing the motor men joking around with the clowns


 Harley Davison Police Motorcycles


 Baltimore Police Department's new fleet of MOTORS 2004


 Parade in downtown Baltimore




Officer Tim Hughes


 Officer Tim Hughes














Below are some gloves used by our Motors unit recovered out of the old Headquarters building during the move back between the early 70’s and mid 80’s – One pair has the Officers name inside.

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 Sidecar linkDevider


Copies of: Your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.

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Devider color with motto


How to Dispose of Old Police Items

If you come into possession of Police items from an Estate or Death of a Police Officer Family Member and do not know how to properly dispose of these items please contact: Retired Detective Ken Driscoll - Please dispose of POLICE Items: Badges, Guns, Uniforms, Documents, PROPERLY so they won’t be used IMPROPERLY.

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.

Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222





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Copies of: Your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Retired or Deceased Officers and anything that may help us to Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency.
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