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Segway Human Transporter

Presently more than 100 police and security agencies use a Segway HT, resulting in enough interest in the product that Segway has announced a new police model HT. The most common uses for agencies have been airport patrols, shopping malls, university campuses, emergency medical response, community street patrol and events, and bomb and HAZMAT response. Most recently the Italian Police purchased 70 units to patrol the 12 largest rail stations in Italy. They are also being used to assist with security at the Olympic Village and event sites.

Many agencies have discovered the benefits of the HT especially the primary benefit, being able to respond more quickly to emergency situations. In many situations, it simply beats walking (or walking a beat) while it permits you to stay on the beat and out of the car or other impersonal transportation options. It also puts the officer approximately 8 inches higher than the crowd, providing a better than normal view.

About a half dozen departments and the US Navy use Segways to transport bomb and HazMat technicians to respond to incidents. The Segway helps them move to the incident quicker and with less effort while in full bomb or HazMat gear. Due to the Segway’s light weight, more than one can be carried in a bomb unit.

The Maryland Transportation Authority Police at Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) airport tested the HT for about four months. The in-terminal foot officers averaged about 7 miles a day and carried about 33 pounds of gear. The trial was very successful as the officers did arrive quicker, by an average of three to four minutes, they enjoyed foot patrol resulting in a morale boost, and the public likes the Segway, resulting in better public relations. After testing, the BWI purchased nine units to patrol the parking garage, and in and around the airport. A very informative final testing report was completed by the Maryland Transportation Authority Police and is available from Segway. Other airports using the Segway for public safety include Chicago O’Hare, Midway, Atlanta, Orlando and Harrisburg (PA).

The HT has a short learning curve and operating it is simple; to move forward or back you just lean the appropriate direction and to turn left or right you use the steering wheel. The unit can stop quickly, pivot 360 degrees, climb grades, and is extremely silent. The i180 Police Model is based on the HT i180 platform with added items. It uses long-lasting Saphion® lithium-ion batteries which result in about 24 miles on a single charge.

The HT has a 19x25-inch footprint and a 3-inch ground clearance and can reach speeds of approximately 13 miles per hour. It can carry approximately 260 pounds, can fit in the trunks of many cars, and the power assist mode helps you move the unit up and down stairs more easily. The police package includes side cargo bags which can carry 25 pounds each, reflective trip, handbar cargo bag, LED taillight, and the handlebar guard allows mounting of a light, siren, etc.

The neat Quick Time-Out Key lets you step off and in five seconds the unit shuts off automatically, just in case you have to exit quickly and perform a job function such as making an arrest quickly. The electronic keys are coded with their own 64-bit security identification making the unit extremely secure.

Kevin Gordon spent 25 years in law enforcement and retired as a chief of police. He can be reached at Kevin@KGordon.com.

Published in Law and Order, Apr 2006

Rating : 10.0


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