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Posts Tagged ‘Washington DC’

Early 1900's Police Patrol Ads

You might not be aware of this, but August Vollmer, Chief of Police for Berkeley, CA., is often credited with establishing the first police motorcycle patrol in 1911.

However, many police bureau’s reported using motorcycles as patrol vehicles earlier.  For example right here in “River City”, the Portland, OR., Police Bureau hired Merle Sims in 1908 because he owned his own motorcycle and by 1910 the Portland bureau purchased two of their own motorcycles for patrols of the city.

So what does this have to do with the Law Enforcement Museum?  Glad you ask!  In 2000, the U.S. Congress and President Bill Clinton authorized the establishment of a National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, DC.  It paved the way for the nation’s largest and most comprehensive museum honoring the duty and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers.  The key purpose of the museum is to tell the story of American law enforcement through exhibits, collections, research and education.

The National Law Enforcement Museum will have several motorcycles, including H-D on exhibit when it opens in 2011 as well as a broad sampling of historical and contemporary objects.

"Mechanical Nippers"

The building is located in the 400 block of E Street, NW, which is part of the Judiciary Square, just north of Pennsylvania Avenue and the National Mall. In the original plan for the nation’s capital, Pierre L’Enfant identified Judiciary Square as the center of the judicial branch of government, and today the historic setting is surrounded by a number of federal court buildings. Directly adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, the Museum makes an architectural statement that complements this monument to officers killed in the line of duty.

Patrol photo taken at H-D Museum.

The two different “mechanical nippers” pictured are Malcolm (bottom left) and the Iron Claw (bottom right) by Argus Manufacturing Co.  Photo courtesy of NLEO Museum.

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Health_CareAs a motorcycle enthusiasts should we care about the Healthcare debate?  In a word, YES!

Looking in our rear view mirror, there is precedent for all of us to be concerned with in regards to any health care legislation coming out of Washington. For example in 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that was intended to ensure non-discrimination in health coverage in the group market. However, when it came to implementing the law, the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service and the Health Care Financing Administration – now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – issued a rule allowing insurers to deny health benefits for an otherwise covered injury that results from certain types of recreational activities, such as skiing, horseback riding, snowmobiling or motorcycling. Even though many motorcycle friendly organizations (ABATE, AMA, etc.,) have fought this discriminatory rule with legislation, it’s a clear indicator of what can happen if a new health care bill is implemented by bureaucrats in Washington using biased data.

More information can be obtained HERE on injury exclusions as each state has unique implementations.  In some cases state law compliments HIPAA.

Generically speaking, the most simple answer is for motorcycle enthusiasts to oppose any legislation that may come from the new healthcare debate which restricts the freedoms of riders who enjoy an active lifestyle.  We cannot allow our elected officials to abdicate the rights of the insured to an unelected commission or board, which will render final decisions regarding appropriate medical coverage for individuals who ride motorcycles as a mode of transportation or for recreation (e.g., denial of a procedure).

If this issue resonates with you, below is a form letter to mail to your state reps for reference:

[Your Name]
[Street Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]

August 27, 2009

Note: In Oregon write to all three:

The Honorable Jeff Merkley
United States Senate
107 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-3704

The Honorable Ron Wyden
United States Senate
223 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-3703

The Honorable Kurt Schrader
House of Representatives
1419 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-3705

Re: Motorcyclists Express Concern with Health Care Debate

Dear Senator [NAME]:

As a constituent and riding enthusiast, I urge you not to include anything in the various health care bills that may adversely affect my ability to ride a motorcycle.  I am opposed to any legislation that may inhibit the freedoms of riders, including myself, from enjoying an active lifestyle.

I value personal freedom and responsibility when it comes to enjoying my passion for riding. As you continue your deliberations on health care reform, please do not abdicate the rights of the insured to an unelected commission or board which will render final decisions regarding medical coverage for those of us who ride as a mode of transportation or for recreation. Please ensure that I will continue to be able to pursue my chosen recreational pursuit without the addition of unneeded prohibitions, limitations or mandates stemming from the health care legislation under consideration.

Again, I urge you to protect my freedoms from being dictated to by an unelected commission or board in determining medical coverage for individuals who ride.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this important issue.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

We need to write our government representatives and voice our concerns regarding the various health care bills to ensure that motorcyclists can chose a recreational pursuit without the addition of unneeded limitations or mandates stemming from any health care legislation being considered.

Photo courtesy of Masscare.org

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inauguration_hdAs you likely know the presidential inauguration is coming up on Tuesday, January 20th.    

Harley-Davidson of Frederick, MD has been busy working for months preparing 12 motorcycles that will lead the parade.  The motorcycles are part of the famous “Power V”, a v-formation that leads the inaugural parade through the streets of Washington, D.C. as folks from around the world watch.  The bikes are 2009 FLHTP Electra Glides with oversized 103 cu in motors and are the lead bikes in the 50 motorcycle inaugural parade.  The bikes are used exclusively for escort and security duty in the DC Metro Police department.

With auto sales on the skid and the ink on the General Motors bail-out loan check barely dry, President-elect Obama will be ridin’ in style with an all new 2009 armored Cadillac Presidential Limousine.  Fitted with an increased viewing area from the completely sealed interior (to ward off chemical attack), it has larger windows and better visibility for the new first family.  But I’ve digressed…

The Harley motorcycles arrived in Frederick last October as white motorcycles and white side crates.  The dealer then added sidecar, decals, lights, fans and a lot of labor to make it all work.  The price tag for the 12 motorcycles was about $26,000 for each vehicle.  They were built at Harley’s largest manufacturing facility – Springettsbury Township Plant – and customized by Frederick’s with unique radio brackets, wiring harnesses and flag brackets.  One unique data and selling point is that Harley is the only maker of police pursuit motorcycles that have sidecar attachments.

Nothing provides a symbol of Americana like a Harley-Davidson “V” formation parade.  Congrats.

Photo taken at Flamingo in Laughlin, NV.

 

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