07/28/11 In 1933 Indiana’s first troopers patrolled the roads on motorcycles. They were issued either a Harley Davidson or Indian motorcycle. A trooper in the early 1930’s might patrol upwards of 100,000 miles per year on a motorcycle on mostly unpaved, unpredictable roads in all kinds of weather. This continued until 1939 when the first Indiana State Police cars were introduced.
The state police reintroduced the motorcycle program in 2004 which put the bikes back on the road for the first time in 65 years. In the pilot program, the motorcycle troopers cruised the central part of the state, particularly in high-traffic areas around Indianapolis. Currently twenty-six motorcycle units are patrolling around the state and one of the newest members is assigned to the Bremen Post.
Trooper Jonathon Hart, a 4 year veteran of the department, completed his motorcycle training in July. Hart was sent to the Deeley Harley-Davidson Police Motorcycle Training Program, a 2 ½ week school in Ontario, Canada. Hart is a local graduate of Culver Community High School and Indiana University.
“The biggest drawback in this part of the country is the weather,” Hart said. The troopers ride the motorcycles from April through November. “But they are a great tool to have when working in congested areas because of their capability to get in and around the traffic,” stated Hart.
Trooper Hart’s primary area of responsibility will be Marshall, Kosciusko, St. Joseph and Elkhart Counties. “He will focus his patrol time on high crash areas such as SR 23 in Granger and the US 20 By-Pass in Elkhart, but will also be available to quickly move to areas that are experiencing traffic issues,” commented Bremen Post Commander Lt. James Strong.