Topsfield Police Department
The Topsfield Police Department Motorcycle Unit officially began as a ful-time entity in April 1998 with the lease of the Town's first Harley-Davidson. Prior to this, the motorcycle program was utilized on a limited basis dating back to 1985 using officer's personal motorcycles for special events only. The Motorcycle Unit currently operates from April through October each year. Initially two officers comprised the Unit, Sgt James Harris and Officer Glenn Walker, both of whom have over twenty years experience riding. Both Sgt. Harris and Officer Walker completed an 80-hour course and were certified through the Northwestern University Traffic Institute and Harley-Davidson. In 2004 a third officer was added to the Unit. Officer John Hayward completed a 40-hour couse and was certified through Harley-Davidson.
The Motorcycle Unit is funded through a grant with the Executive Office of Public Safety Community Policing Program. Over the past five years the Department has increased its focus on community policing which is an integral part of combating crime and improving quality of life issues for the residents of Topsfield.
The program over the past five years has created a positive professional image for the department. The Motorcycles are used in a number of areas for the Department. One of the primary focuses of the Unit is traffic enforcement. Addressing areas of citizens concerns in and around different neighborhoods. The motorcycle is well adapted for this type of traffic enforcement as it is able to monitor traffic on some of the town’s narrower twisting roads without disrupting the flow of traffic. The Unit also patrols the numerous parks, ball fields, and recreational areas in the town, due to the size of the motorcycle it is well suited for this task as well, and is able to patrol in areas the cruisers are unable to.
The Motorcycle Unit also is called on during special events or functions such as parades, road races, the strawberry festival, public safety day, and events of this nature to assist with traffic and show a positive police presence.