"> Segways Help University of New Hampshire's Campus Police Go Green
Segways Help University of New Hampshire's Campus Police Go Green
Media Contact:  Jody Record
UNH Media Relations
August 7, 2008

EDITORS AND REPORTERS: UNH Deputy Police Chief Paul Dean can be reached at 603-862-1427 or phd@cisunix.unh.edu

DURHAM, N.H. - The newest mode of transportation for campus police will also give officers and students something to talk about: the Segway has come back to the University of New Hampshire.

When inventor Dean Kamen unveiled the upright electric scooter in 2001, UNH was a test site. The community policing model hit the market in 2007, and it wasn't long before UNH police were investigating the possibility of adding Segways to their fleet.

Last month, they took two Segways on loan so they could evaluate their effectiveness. The results? They're great, says UNH Deputy Police Chief Paul Dean. So great, in fact, they're going to buy them.

"And I was a skeptic," Dean says. "They offered them to us for two months free so I said, 'free's free, we'll try them,' but I wasn't convinced. Then as soon as I got on, I was sold."

The Segway runs on a lithium battery that holds its charge for eight to 10 hours. At the end of a shift or when an officer returns to the station to fill out a report, the Segway is plugged in and recharged. It can travel between three and fifteen mpr´┐Żabout as fast as someone can sprint--and comes with a siren and headlight.

"We've been trying to find ways for us to go green," Dean says. "With fuel prices the way they are, we wanted to do something, but we have to be mobile all the time regardless of the cost. This is one way we can balance safety and be a partner in going green."

"The best thing about the Segway is it will engage the public in conversation, and any time we can do that is good for us," Dean adds.

Another plus: the scooter is eight inches higher than the original model, making it useful in a crowd, Dean says, because officers will be able to see above and into a large group, and move people back, if necessary.

Turning the Segway on and off is done by a watch worn on the officer's wrist. If he goes beyond 15 feet, a built-in security feature sets off an alarm and the scooter starts shaking.

UNH police have had mountain bikes and motorcycles for years. The Segway, Dean says, is simply another tool to help officers get around campus.

"The officers have embraced them. Even the naysayers have come around and say it's a good tool," Dean says.


email this page!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button