Segways help police move through a crowd

By Doug Walker – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The crowds began to build early on the second day of the Peter Anderson Festival.  By the end of the day, more than 50 thousand were expected on the streets.  Keeping those people safe is a daunting task.  But it's a job the city's police reserve can do better now.

That's because there are two new pieces in the law enforcement puzzle.  With grant money, the city purchased two new Segway people movers. The head of the city's reserve unit, Len Nobles, sings its praises.

"It'S an excellent tool," Nobles said.  "We're able to see above crowds, we're able to exit the area we have cordoned off for the event, [we are able to] come in at different points and deal with emergencies that may occur."

Nobles said you never know when those emergencies may come up, and the need for a speedy response.  "We had an individual that had a medical situation in Marshall Park yesterday," Nobles said.  "We were able to get there and provide emergency medical services in a pretty timely manner."

But let's not forget the good old fashioned foot soldiers in the crowd control effort.  many reserve officers were on their feet, eyes trained to look for any signs of trouble, helping out any way they could.

Reserve patrol officer Suzy Hernandez explained her job to WLOX.  "Make sure that everybody is OK," she said.  "Helping with the traffic, watching out that everybody is doing their job, and making sure everything goes smoothly."

And with the help of the Segway's, smooth was the word of the day in a busy downtown festival setting.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.