The police motorcycle helmet and its wearer have been part of American culture for over half of a century. In fact, a large portion of the public views a police motorcycle officer as a “cowboy” or “knight” dressed in black leather, with a gun at his side, astride a powerful Harley Davidson or similar bike. They also see this police officer as someone who holds a great deal of power and status. Ask anyone who has received a speeding ticket while driving down a side street! It’s important to remember that the police motorcycle helmet is a very important part of the officer’s uniform. While protecting the motorcycle officer from injury and serving as a safety device, it also serves as a communication tool.
The most prominent makers of police motorcycle helmets are Harley Davidson, BMW and Kawasaki. Bell, too, is often selected as the helmet of choice. Two of these manufacturers also are responsible for production of high-end automobiles.
In most venues, officers are permitted to choose their own helmets while purchasing within a prescribed allowance. This means that individuals may select their own style and accessories, as long as they meet police department specifications. The police motorcycle helmet is considered part of the officer’s uniform.
A police motorcycle helmet must meet safety standards, as defined by the federal Department of Transportation (DOT). These standards are available on-line at www.DOT.gov. It is required that the DOT seal appear on each motorcycle helmet.
Which One to Choose?
Which police motorcycle helmet is right for each individual officer? Most wearers consider comfort and versatility as the prime points in choosing their helmets. However, following are some of the attributes police officers also look for:
- Chin Straps with a Quick Release Feature.
- Chin Cups.
- Type and Style of Visor.
- Type of Liner, How Well Fits the Head and if it is Washable.
- Communication Hardware and Kits.
Other considerations include:
- Attachments Such as Badges, Decals, Rank Bands and Buttons.
- Face Shields.
- Cold Weather Ear Muffs and Neck Protection.
A Primary Source of Communication:
Obviously, besides officer safety, the primary need for a police motorcycle helmet is to assist the officer with communication. A motorcycle officer, like officers who drive cars or other vehicles, is expected to handle many duties. While their primary responsibility is to handle traffic enforcement, they are sometimes called upon for parade or funeral details, or to provide emergency response. In emergencies, motorcycle officers can often get to the scene far faster than a police car. Such situations require use of the police motorcycle helmet to communicate with other officers, as well as dispatchers and local law enforcement and safety agencies.
Differences Between Helmets:
How does a police motorcycle helmet differ from those worn by average bikers? While all helmets must adhere to safety standards set by the federal DOT and while all helmets have certain standard equipment, those worn by police officers have specialized face shields and communication accessories. For example, a police helmet communication kit might include but not be limited to single or dual speakers, a flexible boom, a noise canceling microphone, a handlebar mounted radio, and equipment that allows an interface with portable radios, mobile radios and public address (PA) systems.
Police motorcycle helmets are most frequently black in color with gold or silver highlights. Because of the sophisticated equipment included or attached, the prices can begin as low as $375 and run upwards of $2,500+.
Police Motorcycle Helmet Accessories:
The police motorcycle helmet is one that has changed very little in style over the years. The helmets are most often white with a black or navy shield on the front as well as a protective visor. Most are not full faced helmets, although some departments are going toward the full face models. Although the police motorcycle helmet has not changed much over time, there has been the invention of new and updated accessories to go with the helmets. These accessories are meant for added safety and comfort. Options like quick release chin straps and the tactical shield can provide police officers with accessories that help them do their job more effectively.
The police motorcycle helmet design is one that allows for many different accessories if desired. Most companies that offer police motorcycle helmets also carry these accessories. It is usually up to the specific police departments and the individual police officers to determine which accessories are necessary and which are not.
One of the most needed accessories is the tactical shield. These provide police with the extra protection they may need. Visors are also available in both plastic and leather. These are perfect for keeping the sun from beaming in the officers eyes while riding. Both the shield and the visors are great safety accessories that are beneficial to wearers.
Other common police helmet accessories are the 3-D badges that attach to the sides of the helmet. Most police officers are required to have one of these on their helmets to identify themselves as police officers. They are big sellers of course. Helmet decals are also popular as they also provide a means of identification for the officers. Bicycle police officers can also use these 3-D badges and decals on their bike helmets for identification purposes.
A handy accessory for a police motorcycle helmet is the quick release chin cup. This allows the officer to get their helmet off as quickly as possible. The release is smooth and can be done with one hand, leaving the officer the other hand free. Considering police officers work in emergency situations, time is valuable and these chin cups allow the officers to be quick and smooth.
Most police officers are required to keep their motorcycle helmets in a protective bag when they are not in use. This is to keep the helmets in good condition. Not only does it preserve the appearance of the helmet, but also the safety of the helmet. The better you take care of a motorcycle helmet, the safer it will be for you to use. With departments realizing this, and often being on tight budgets, they want their officers to take excellent care of their equipment. These helmet bags come in zippered or drawstring forms and are almost necessary for motorcycle police.
As you can see, these police motorcycle helmet accessories are often necessary for motorcycle police officers to do their job more effectively. They are often inexpensive; so many departments are requiring some of them. The accessories are used for added safety, comfort, and identification.