Ocean Springs police ready to roll with new Segways

By Patrice Clark- bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Ocean Springs Police Department has some brand new rides to help them better patrol the streets and the beach.  The department recently purchased two-wheeled Segway scooters.  Police officers said they're testing the electric vehicles for performance and reliability.

Police cars and motorcycles take a backseat, Ocean Springs police added a couple of Segways to their fleet to help fight crime.

"It's definitely a more modern version. You've got places where you see them on TV. We are definitely keeping up with the times," Sgt. Neal Allen said.

Ocean Springs Sgt. Allen said his deparment purchased two of the $6,500 mini vehicles, which consists of two wheels and they can reach speeds up to 12 miles per hour.  The machines are also equipped with saddle bags for ticket books and police gear.  Police said the scooters have flashing lights on them to navigate through traffic.

"The lights help make us more visible to where we can be seen, and get through the crowd without anybody getting injured.  It helps cut down on the fatigue of an officer," Allen said.

Another major benefit of the Segway is it doesn't burn gas, which means it is green and clean.

"They run off of two batteries, so just plug them into a regular wall outlet and charge them up."

Captain William Jackson said the vehicles will hopefully help police roll to a scene faster and cut down on foot patrols.  He said police plan to test the Segways over the next couple of months at special events, the beach and in small neighborhoods to see if they are a help or hindrance.

"We are seeing how we can use them to our advantage. If they seem that they are being productive, then it is possible we will get even more down the line," Jackson said.

Ocean Springs Police said any new tool that will help keep the streets safe is always a plus for law enforcement.  The first department says it is the first in Jackson County to buy electric-powered Segways.

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