Segway launched its Personal Transporter in 2001. In the intervening years, press outlets far and wide seem to write up a story any time someone mounts one of these pricey scooters. This morning, the Washington Post kept the six-year honeymoon alive, with a feature on the front page of the Metro section. You didn’t have to read too closely to find the product plugs for Segway:
Sure, police realize that some will laugh at the sight of hard-nosed officers wheeling about. But, in a way, that’s the beauty of the Segway.
“People will come up to you and say, ‘It’s kinda silly,’ ” said Sgt. Michael Wear. “But you know what they’re doing? They’re talking to the police on a human level. That’s what we want.”
“For a foot beat officer, it gets you where you need to be quicker,” Officer Derrick Potts said as he threaded his Segway through orange cones at the training academy yesterday. “You also can go places cars can’t go.”
Potts said being on the Segway increases his field of vision, noting that the Segway elevates him by eight inches.
For D.C. police, Segways are a community relations tool as much as a mode of travel…”
Ideally, Wear said, members of the public will walk away with a positive impression of police—-one of the priorities of Chief Cathy L. Lanier’s quest to improve neighborhood ties. “It’s high-visibility equipment,” Wear said.