The North American Motor Officers Association is a 501C3 non profit organization dedicated to developing, enhancing, and sharing training ideas specifically for police motorcycle operators.
NAMOA was originally created as the Oregon Motor Officers Association over 30 years ago; and I am proud to say we are an organization with a strong and dedicated membership following. Although we welcome law enforcement officers from any state or country, our membership is primarily made up of motor officers from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia Canada.
NAMOA is committed to the philosophy that training is the foundation for police motor officer survival. As motor officers there is a multiplied element of danger inherent with our day-to-day work, having to be attentive to the dangers of police work itself; but also having to multi-task with the platform we work from. Being able to minimize this danger through proficient, professional motorcycle riding; we as an organization have certainly saved officers lives, and reduced significant injuries as we continue with our day to day police duties.
Early 2020 changed everyone’s lives and workplaces on a multitude of levels adding more degrees of complexity to our jobs than ever before. NAMOA was no different; we had to adapt to achieve our mission. Bend Police Department was 100% on track for a successful conference. We unfortunately had no choice but to cancel the 2020 NAMOA conference.
The 2021 NAMOA Conference was expected to be hosted by our Canadian brethren in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. However, lockdowns, agency travel bans, mandates, closed borders, and overall logistics problems, proved difficult to overcome with the United States and Canada getting together as a membership, and we had to cancel again.
Through leadership from the NAMOA Board and perseverance of membership, Canada opted to have a small conference in Canada hosted by the RCMP and Vancouver Police led by our NAMOA’s Canadian Vice President, Brian Fedirchuk. The Boise Police Motor Unit, led by the NAMOA’s Idaho Vice President, Everett Corona scrambled resources together and made a conference happen for the United States members in Boise, Idaho. We all made the best of what we could with what we had (in time and resources) and made two successful conferences happen.
Both Conferences ended up successful as we returned to our roots for the purpose and scope of our existence, training, networking, and brotherhood.
NAMOA owes a debt of gratitude to our membership for not giving up, department administrations for supporting the training missions of their motor units, and of course, our sponsors and supporters for helping fund this important mission. Without a combination for agencies stepping up to host a conference, vendor support, and of course community partners in providing logistics and financial support to help make these conferences would not achieve the level of success they are known for.
NAMOA is an association for all its members to utilize. Beyond the logistics and time involved in have a successful training event, it takes competent and tenured instructors to ensure a successful event. These instructors, known by the membership as “Red Hats” ensure a safe and effective training event free of mishaps, provide feedback and instruction to ensure the membership receives the highest level of training we can offer in a two-day training event.
Unfortunately, for some agencies, training obtained at annual NAMOA Conferences is the only form of training attended or offered for their motor officers. If you are a part of an agency that has training outside of NAMOA, be thankful and use that training time efficiently. If your agency has a competent cadre of trainers, reach out to those agencies that don’t. Help foster growth and provide training in an environment without judgement to allow for growth and skill building to ensure we have the safest, most efficient, and aware motor officers on the road.
In the coming years, do not expect large scale conferences full of door prizes and grandeur. Some agencies are dissolving or downsizing their motor units. Along with this downsizing many are also experiencing budget shortfalls. We are maintaining our training mission and the only expectation of the Board is for a host agency to provide meaningful training to the membership. As such, we are not increasing membership/conference fees in effort to ensure accessibility to a top-notch training experience for all members.
Our 2023 NAMOA Conference is hosted by the Yakima Police Department and it will be taking place at the Yakima Valley Sundome. The Yakima PD hosted the 2017 NAMOA conference. The venue is great, secure, and they are on track to provide an awesome conference this year!
As president of the NAMOA, I continue to be humbled witnessing the perseverance and grit at every level of the mission. The Executive Board figuring out how to shift gears to continue the mission, the mass time and effort put in by host agencies, and of course the membership’s attendance to ensure we continue our 30+ year history of providing quality and meaningful training, networking of riders and trainers, and cultivating brotherhood of all motor officers both past and present.
Be safe and remember your purpose in our profession,
Ofc. Nate Pieske
President – NAMOA