Making history: First female Asheville Police Officer to patrol on motorcycle

Asheville Police Officer Meg Donahue
Senior Police Officer Meg Donahue is Asheville Police Department’s newest motorcycle officer.

Asheville Police Department’s (APD) Senior Police Officer Meg Donahue pinned the honorable Motor Officer wings to her uniform in August, after successfully completing one of the most rigorous training courses a police officer can endure.


Officer Donahue is one of only three women that have ever completed the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Basic Motor Officer School. Six people started in her class and she is one of the four who passed. Officer Donahue is the first female Motor Officer at APD, making all four members of APD’s Traffic Safety Unit authorized to operate on a motorcycle.


Basic Motor School is an 80-hour course that builds an officer’s skills to safely operate a motorcycle in a traffic enforcement capacity. The course is designed to enhance abilities in areas such as curve negotiation, tight turn maneuvers, evasive brake, high-speed negotiation and object avoidance, among others. Due to the heavy weight of police motorcycles and the unusual distribution of that weight, unique handling characteristics are necessary. Police motorcyclists are also required to operate at high speeds and maneuverability, resulting in the need for high-level skills and specialized training. 


Officer Donahue started at APD 15 years ago as a way to dedicate her career towards helping people and serving the community. She looks forward to continuing her service, at times on two wheels rather than four.