French Police Aid Security at Golden Globes

The French police motorcycle brigade shows off its elegant formations. i

The French police motorcycle brigade shows off its elegant formations to its LAPD counterparts, dancing with their Yamahas in what they call an "Arabesque parade." Mandalit del Barco, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Mandalit del Barco, NPR
The French police motorcycle brigade shows off its elegant formations.

The French police motorcycle brigade shows off its elegant formations to its LAPD counterparts, dancing with their Yamahas in what they call an "Arabesque parade."

Mandalit del Barco, NPR
Christian De Larrain stands next to a police motorcycle. i

Parisian officer Christian De Larrain says growing up watching "CHiPs" on TV inspired him to become a motorcycle cop. "All the California policemen look like movie actors," he says. Mandalit del Barco, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Mandalit del Barco, NPR
Christian De Larrain stands next to a police motorcycle.

Parisian officer Christian De Larrain says growing up watching "CHiPs" on TV inspired him to become a motorcycle cop. "All the California policemen look like movie actors," he says.

Mandalit del Barco, NPR

The Golden Globe Awards attracted some of Hollywood's biggest stars, meaning lots of security was on hand, including a group of motorcycle cops from France.

They're in Los Angeles on a cultural exchange visit to learn the ways of their California counterparts.

French police have a no-nonsense reputation. But the motorcycle brigade from Paris showed plenty of style, too.

At a gathering hosted by the Los Angeles Police Department, the French officers rode their sleek white Yamahas in a synchronized formation. They called it an "arabesque parade."

And if their bikes were elegant, so were the Frenchmen, wearing crisp, tailored uniforms and black knee-high boots.

The Los Angeles motorcycle cops were impressed.

Not to be outdone, the LAPD put on its own demonstration — in riot formation — and fired volley after volley of rubber bullets.

The French officers wore big giddy grins and (shot photos and videos for the folks back home.) Many had to duck for cover from the flying bullet canisters, which they later collected as souvenirs.

The French police were amazed by the LAPD's show of force.

"It works good when they shoot those rubber bullet projectiles, they sting," said one of the French officers. "They hurt. We can't do that in France."

And most of the time, they don't need to; shootouts and gang violence, so common in L.A., are virtually unheard of in France.

French officer Cristoffe De Larrain says he grew up watching California cops in the movies and on TV. He seemed equally star struck by the real thing.

"All California policeman could play in a movie," he said. "Yes, they look like movie actors."

In fact, De Larrain says an old American TV series about California motorcycle cops inspired him to become a policeman.

"CHiPs, with Poncharello and Becker. That's my hero," he said. "I would look at this movie when I was young, and after, and I would become a motorcyclist."

For officers Cristoffe, De Larrain and Vincent Messeger, the highlight may have been last night's Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills. Nicole Kidman, they say is wanted by the French police.

For a Frenchman in L.A., nothing was more American than a little Hollywood star gazing.

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