Incoming Queensland Police commissioner plans to return officers to the beat on Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) and golf carts in a push by the new boss to create a highly mobile and hi-tech force, according to the Herald Sun.
…Mr Stewart said he was concerned police had cut themselves off from the public.
“As technology in vehicles changed, obviously the windows got wound up, the air conditioner goes on, the radio goes on,” he said.
“In some ways we’ve actually created a barrier between that interaction between the patrolling police and the public. Pushbikes, golf carts, Segways (two wheeled self-balancing motorised platforms) – all of that puts you back right in touch with the community.
“I know overseas there is a lot of work being done in terms of simply trying to get police back out on the beat.”
While Australian Police are yet to roll out their first machines, officers on Segway PTs have been a common site in most busy cities around the world for years. This week in Dublin, Ireland, Police began patrolling the city centre on a pair of Segway PTs donated by the Dublin City Business Association:
GARDAI are poised to segue into a new way of patrolling the ‘green’ streets of Dublin following a generous gift.
Officers are hoping for a smooth transition with the presentation to Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey today of two Segways, donated by the Dublin City Business Association (DCBA).
Although the vehicles will initially only be used in Dublin city centre, gardai have indicated they could be rolled out more widely if they prove to be a success.
Mr Twomey said he was happy to add the machines to his force’s arsenal.
“Segways add another arm to our portfolio in terms of dynamic and effective urban policing by maximising the areas we can monitor that are not typically accessible for other vehicles,” he said.
Police in USA were the first to begin patrolling on Segway PTs in 2002. This case study from Bridgeport notes some of the reasons they kind patrolling on Segway PTs to be so successful:
“In general, if a municipality is using community-based policing as their platform, the Segway PT is the tool,” says Norwood. “It allows cops to get out of their cars, be in touch with people and create dialog. It’s one of those tools that the cops say ‘Wow, I didn’t know you could use it that way.’ For us, it has been a big success.”
— Bryan Norwood – Police Chief, Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
Segway released its first “Police/Security” version of the first generation Segway PT in 2005, and a similarly spec’d version of the second generation i2 and x2 models in 2006.
Over the next two years extensive research was conducted into developing a more specialised version especially for this sector, and the new i2 and x2 Patroller models were released in 2009. These models have reflective shields, flashing lights, storage and other features requested by officers who had been using Segway PTs in the field for many years.
Segway Patrollers have been adopted by security firms throughout New Zealand for patrolling large sites and at public events.