Behind the Patch: Towards an Understanding of Public Safety and Law Enforcement Motorcycle Clubs
by Karen Katz
The emergence of Public Safety and Law Enforcement Motorcycle Clubs which allegedly closely resemble Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs in their style of dress ... Show synopsis The emergence of Public Safety and Law Enforcement Motorcycle Clubs which allegedly closely resemble Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs in their style of dress has created controversies within the law enforcement and outlaw biker communities. Public Safety and Law Enforcement Motorcycle Clubs represent a social response to the breakdown of the police subculture, specifically, the erosion of brotherhood, internal solidarity, and camaraderie within police departments. Police officers who shared a passion for riding motorcycles created their own unique hybrid subculture in order to restore a sense of brotherhood and belonging among themselves. The salient features of the subculture are brotherhood, the wearing of colours with the 3-piece back patch, and riding Harley Davidson motorcycles in group formation. These features hold symbolic meanings for the club members and serve important functions within the subculture. Through motorcycling, Public Safety and Law Enforcement Motorcycle Clubs provide their members with meaningful social participation and interpersonal relations, which re-establishes meaning and a sense of purpose in their lives. This book will make a significant contribution to knowledge because it is the only book written of its kind. Few, if any, researchers have ever been able to obtain access to the Public Safety and Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club subculture and no other scholar has systematically observed and interviewed members of these clubs. This book may have important implications for law enforcement officials who do not understand these officers and their choice of membership in such clubs. Additionally, this book will be beneficial to club members because they have been given a voice and an opportunity to tell their stories to the public. Police officers, academics, bikers, and the general public will also find this book to be a rare and valuable glimpse into a subculture that most people know very little about.