Who is 7 feet tall, a morale booster in your local community, and the subject of proactive conversations?
Your local Segway-riding police officer, that’s who!
At a time when communities are strapped for cash and the rising price of oil is ricocheting through municipal fleets, I turn to the police who are collectively trying their darnedest to cut their overhead and reduce the municipal carbon footprint.
Before segueing to the meat of this post, I thank the popularity of new media and the availability of online information, turning to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which produces the following chart on its website:
Do you want to guess how many C-notes are spent every month when the driver of a gas-guzzling Ford Crown Victoria pulls up to the pump? Thankfully, many PDs are recognizing the rising cost of oil and are adopting creative solutions to offset the overhead and be more green.
But turning off air conditioning in policr cruisers and converting Crown Vics to hybrid Escapes is not the best the nation’s brightest law enforcers should do, is it?
I challenge every police department in the world to follow the behavior of over 750 police, security, and military agencies who currently use Segway personal transporters to enhance community policing and boost morale.
A Segway costs about $5,500, is capable of about 12 miles per hour, and can run 24 miles per charge (or an 8-hour shift). Don’t take my word for the Segway’s popularity among police forces; ask the PDs of Norwich, Connecticut; the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Jackson, Michigan; the Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers, Massachusetts; and the NYPD.
Turning to a series of YouTube videos, here’s a press conference on the Segways from Tulsa, Oklahoma:
Here’s a demonstration from La Quinta, California:
Cops in Natick, Massachusetts bought a Segway last year:
And from WLWT, a Cincinnati, Ohio, TV station:
According to the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice:
Community policing focuses on crime and social disorder through the delivery of police services that includes aspects of traditional law enforcement, as well as prevention, problem-solving, community engagement, and partnerships.
The community policing model balances reactive responses to calls for service with proactive problem-solving centered on the causes of crime and disorder.
Community policing requires police and citizens to join together as partners in the course of both identifying and effectively addressing these issues.
Community policing sounds a lot like social media, don’t you agree? If I see a police officer in a cruiser, he drives past. He’s visible but I never see the man. On bikes and foot patrols, I see them but they blend into the crowd. On a contraption that their peers use, to give them extended height and outfitted with police lights, a siren, and other gadgets, the Segway can be a free public relations tool.
What do you think? Does your local PD own a Segway? Would you like it to?
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