SBPD Officer Tiffany Keller, the department's first female motorcycle cop.

Paul Wellman

SBPD Officer Tiffany Keller, the department's first female motorcycle cop.

SBPD Graduates First Female Motorcycle Officer

Tiffany Keller Learns to Ride in Two-Week Training Course

Friday, February 15, 2013
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With little fanfare and a lot of humility, the Santa Barbara Police Department graduated its first female motorcycle officer this week. Tiffany Keller, from the Santa Ynez Valley and with the SBPD since September 2008, said she doesn’t read too much into her history-making position. “I’m just glad to be part of such a great group of riders,” she said Wednesday after one of her last training sessions in the Earl Warren Showgrounds parking lot.

Officer Tiffany Keller navigates a training course at Earl Warren Showgrounds with Jaycee Hunter looking on.
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

Officer Tiffany Keller navigates a training course at Earl Warren Showgrounds with Jaycee Hunter looking on.

Keller had never ridden a motorcycle before her two-week training regiment with the police department. Before she could start, though, she had to pass a test of basic physical requirements, like straddling the bike and pulling all 750 pounds of the Honda ST1300 from flat on the ground to the upright position. Now that she’s certified, Keller said she plans on buying some kind of cruiser bike. “Not a crotch rocket,” she explained.

Keller said she took several spills during her training — as did the other SBPD officer, CHP officer, and Sheriff’s Deputy in her group — but quickly learned how to properly eject when trouble arose. Getting to know the clutch and throttle were also tricky, she went on, but training supervisor Jaycee Hunter said Keller was a quick learner and is certainly ready to join the motorcycle detail, made up of five full-time riders and a six part-timers. Keller — one of 16 female officers out of the department’s 141 sworn personnel — will be a part of that support group, which often augments security during parades and special events

Hunter said approximately one out of seven trainees don’t graduate, and that it’s common for someone like Keller who has never ridden before to fail the courses. The entire motorcycle brigade goes through an update training every three months, he said. Of training the department’s first female cop on two wheels, Hunter said its significance might not be as large as people might imagine. “Things are different than they were 20-30 years ago,” he said. “The old-school, men-only mentality is completely gone. Female officers are just as skilled.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Quite. All one has to do is just reflect back to London,
and watch these women perform these amazing feats of strength. I mean, you have Marianne Vos, winning in nearly every world championship discipline on the bicycle. You have Womens Moto, You got Patrick racing NASCAR. How come women in SB, weren't on bikes, "in, like the nineties..., man, or earlier." Who failed on producing Chips, meets Charlie's Angels. ( i hope that didn't offend anyone, and we can still laugh in SB.)
I wish officer Keller the best of luck, and hope she becomes the presuppose, for more female Riders.
Perhaps, this could lead to a trend that could quite possibly lower the cities tensions; between the castles, the towners, bereaved, and the bereft; with The Force, that is. But then again, i might be sick from too much pie in the sky.....

sbsavage (anonymous profile)
February 16, 2013 at 12:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Congratulations Tiffany! That course is no piece of cake but I am glad to hear you will be getting a cruiser to practice on. I just started scooting around town about 8 months ago and am still perfecting my two wheeled skills. I look forward to seeing you at the next parade and am certain you'll be doing greater things than controlling traffic on two wheels in the future.

rachhoyt (anonymous profile)
February 17, 2013 at 9:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Next thing you know a woman will be the fastest qualifier for the Daytona 500. Oh wait...

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2013 at 5:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Congrats to a great accomplishment!! I am just slightly nervous that we have someone patrolling with less than a month on a motorcycle. ( and someone who crashed in training to boot) I can't imagine someone patrolling in a cop car who has only driven a car for only one month. I have a friend who has only ridden a motorcycle for a year and am nervous when I ride with him ( I have ridden since I was 8 years old) It takes years of real experience before anyone is truly competent on the road, and maybe more before they should be an expert motor cop. I hope for the best, am happy that they are training the officers to be versatile, and they are giving women the same opportunities as men!!

skaterspoint (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2013 at 8:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)


JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2013 at 9:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Lots of things here to say...
1) Congratulations! and welcome to the awesome world of riding.
2) Please, go get more "learning environment" skills with a few more motorcycle safety courses, even if it's on your own dime, it's worth every penny and your life (as well as others), as with all due respect to you, your field and your efforts, one class is not enough, especially since you just started from scratch.
3) Be careful - now you're joining the ranks of the rest of us out there on two wheels, along with everyone else in their big metal boxes, many of whom are distracted and/or not even capable (or willing) of driving safely with any concern for others.

With much respect,
Female Rider with 40 yrs on Two Wheels :)

MotoBella (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2013 at 11:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

PS - My point about more learning environment classes, is that even as a "well seasoned" rider, we ALWAYS have room for improvement! Have fun and stay safe!

MotoBella (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2013 at 11:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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