New Frontiers In Law Enforcement

3 comments May 17th, 2007at 11:29am Posted by Eli

Dima Gavrysh/New York Times

NYPD introduces Please Beat Me Up division:

A city already patrolled by police horses and bicycles, police speedboats and helicopters, and all manner of cars, vans and armored vehicles bearing the emblem “NYPD,” now has a new crime-fighting tool: the rolling lollipop known as the Segway.

Ten of the two-wheeled Segways are to be deployed today as patrol vehicles on pathways and boardwalks in parks, at beaches and at stadiums, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said at a news conference yesterday.

Twenty-five officers have completed training as Segway drivers, he said, enabling them to maneuver the devices safely for up to eight continuous hours.

“Their obvious advantages are visibility and mobility,” Mr. Kelly said. He was referring to the battery-charged agility of a Segway, which can roll up to 12.5 miles per hour, and to the imposing stature the devices tend to give officers, who are eight inches off the ground and ride standing up.

Even the most petite officers, dressed in police department blue, seem certain to be noticed as they patrol the Coney Island boardwalk.


In an ill-fated 2003 experiment, 10 of the devices were provided by Segway and greeted with enthusiasm by officers and curious members of the public, but were recalled by the company after the devices’ batteries – their sole source of power – were found to be defective.

In some instances, officers on board the Segways tumbled ingloriously to the ground when the batteries were drained….


The potential for preventing crime, and arresting lawbreakers, remains to be seen. Mr. Kelly said that the Segways would be driven only on marked pathways or boardwalks, and that officers would be under strict orders not to venture on city streets or sidewalks.

The Segways should be a big help for catching very slow criminals who are afraid of pavement.

Another possible scenario: One criminal lures Segway cop into giving chase on foot, while his accomplices bundle the officer’s abandoned Segway into a van.

This will end badly, mark my words.

Entry Filed under: Technology


  • 1. Glenn  |  May 17th, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    Gawd, I so want to be a cop!

  • 2. Interrobang  |  May 17th, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    One criminal lures Segway cop into giving chase on foot, while his accomplices bundle the officer’s abandoned Segway into a van.

    Yeah, but what th’hell do you do with a “hot” Segway?

    Let me also just say I don’t envy Segway cops come about, oh, say, February…

  • 3. Eli  |  May 18th, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Well, the cop Segways cost about $5300, so I figure they have to have *some* kind of market value.

    Weatherwise, I don’t guess they have it much worse than bike cops or beat cops – but I have a hard time thinking that the other cops don’t laugh at them behind their backs.

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