They're connecting more with the Veteran and employee communities. They're keeping people safer. They're responding to emergencies more quickly. And they're doing all this while creating fewer emissions, taking up less space, and causing less hassle than other transportation options.
Who are "they" and what are they doing new? The VA Palo Alto Health Care System Police have recently begun using six Segway Patrollers, two T3-Motion Chariots, and restarted the law enforcement bicycle patrol program at the Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Livermore Divisions.
"All programs became fully operational in December 2010," said Ron Jones, VAPAHCS Police Chief. "We average 60 miles per month for every Segway and T3-Motion, and 100 miles per month for every bicycle. Based on these rates, we will accumulate almost 6,000 miles on Segways and Motion Chariots, and nearly 5,000 miles on bicycles by the end of the year."
Zero-emissions are given off during operation of Segways, allowing Police to go indoors if necessary. It does draw electric power during recharge, but that electricity causes 14 times less greenhouse gas emissions than driving a car (see article). After just one year on a single Segway, Police would have literally saved a ton of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.
"This endeavor has greatly decreased the VAPAHCS carbon footprint," said Tony Fitzgerald, VAPAHCS assistant director. "It has also facilitated an enhanced green movement within our health care system in regards to recycling and conserving energy."
Chief Jones went on to say that using personal mobility devices will reduce vehicle mileage on law enforcement motor vehicles approximately 11,000 miles per year. "Motor vehicles average about 14 MPG because of low speeds on VA property and extensive idling. We estimate that implementation of personal mobility devices in law enforcement operations will reduce gasoline consumption by about 700 gallons per year."