BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It has all the bells and whistles of a police patrol car, minus a wheel.
A SE-3 Patroller is the newest addition to the Biloxi Police Department’s segway fleet. Police purchased the three-wheeled vehicle just last month through a grant. The department has had a traditional Segway patroller for several years, but decided it was time to add another one.
“It always helps to have two officers together when patrolling, especially during events and stuff, for mainly officer safety. And like I said, officer presence and to be out there and answer any questions the public may have," said Maj. Chris DeBack.
The battery-powered vehicles can run for a full shift before needing a charge and can go as fast as 15 miles an hour.
DeBack said the segways will be used mainly during larger events like Crusin' the Coast, Mardi Gras parades and Spring Break Weekend.
“It helps them to get to places during events more quickly. They can get into smaller areas, and they can get into different areas where the cars can’t get," he said.
The officers said that the best thing about these segways is how it saves them from exerting lot of energy.
“No matter how good of shape you are when you’re riding a bike or if you’re walking, it gives you longer endurance because when you’re on this you’re not using your leg muscles. And so, we’re able to be out there longer to serve the community," said Ofc. Joey Payne.
It also helps officers connect with the community.
“So, we start talking about the segway, and then they start asking us other questions about their community. So, it’s just a way for us to start speaking to our community," said Ofc. Payne.
And that’s a valuable segue for officers to get to know the people they serve.
Police train officers for several hours on the segways to make sure they’re familiar with the safety features. The three-wheeled segway offers more balance, making it easier to ride.