Paul Blart? Not Quite, Rockford Park District Cops to Test Drive Segways
When you think of law enforcement on a segway, this image of Paul Blart Mall cop probably comes to mind (see picture)
The Rockford Park District has announced that over next two weeks, you will will see a greater police presence, on segways. i2 Patroller Segway Personal Transports have been added to the force. Rockford Park District Police will use the segways on recreation paths, and at Magic Waters, various sports facilities, and current hot spots.
Rockford Park District Police Chief Theo Glover said
“Providing a safe and secure environment for our citizens in our parks and at our facilities is a top priority. Segways have been used by police forces throughout the country to help manage crowds, cover more area, and to enhance response times. They also have enabled agencies to reduce vehicle emissions. We are excited to have the opportunity to test drive them over the next two weeks
The Segways are on loan from Segway of Chicago to the District through Monday, July 30. In addition to using them on park patrols, officers will also test them out at the Riverwalk dedication to be held Friday, July 20 at 10 a at the Riverfront Museum Park campus.
Chief Theo Glover said that the use of Segways can be valuable to any police department, but especially one with the unique mission of the Rockford Park District. “Part of our mission is to help people enjoy life,” said Chief Glover. “The use of Segways allows the officers to be closer to the people we serve, and to closely interact with them. I can’t think of a better way to efficiently create that interaction.”
The Segway Personal Transport offers several advantages to the patrol officer:
- - Innovation – The Segway Patroller allows officers to create innovative community policing programs and better connect with the residents they serve
- - Mobility – It instantly enhances mobility which enables officers to conserve energy and patrol a greater area in a shorter period of time, while still maintaining the intimacy of the “beat cop”
- - Visibility – It improves visibility, particularly in crowded areas such as Magic Waters. An officer on a Segway is nearly a foot taller
- - Flexibility – Segway patrollers can be used both inside and outside. It allows officers to calmly manage crowds while maintaining the ability to quickly respond to emergency situations. This would be ideal for large venues such as ISC and Sportscore Two
- - Green – Segway Patrollers are a leading green transportation initiative, boast zero emissions, and take up little space, all at a cost of less than a penny per mile
Test Model – i2 Patroller
On Loan - from Segway of Chicago located in LaGrange, IL
Range - 20-24 miles on a charge
Top Speed – about 12 mph
Power Source – Lithium Ion batteries
Terrain – Can be driven over multiple terrains, providing tires do not sink into ground
Weight – 105 lbs
Load Capacity – 260 lbs
Charge Time – 5-8 hrs for full charge
Cost - $7,900
The two Segways will be evaluated for a period of two weeks. If the evaluation period is successful, the Rockford Park District Police will seek grants and private donations to purchase the units.