LONG BEACH, NY: They’re not just for wealthy eccentrics anymore. The police department of the City of Long Beach has jumped on the latest trend for slow travel with minimal perspiration. Last week boardwalk patrols were outfitted with Segway personal transporters. These glamorized electric scooters have been popping up everywhere since their invention in 2001, from cities to paved trails through the park.
These scooters are two-wheeled, using a gyroscope to balance as well as adjust its direction and speed based on the rider’s body motion. Police officers nationwide are now using them in place of the tiresome bicycle in areas such as city streets, boardwalks, and parks, as well as any other public space where you don’t have to go too fast while dodging through groups of people. By using these chariots of the incredibly obnoxious, it is hoped that officers will be able to catch shop-lifters and drunken bums without having to break a sweat, with only the cost of five thousand dollars per unit. This does not include the cost of the novice officer riding the scooter into a wall or the ocean due to being unable to steer while drinking his coffee.
In the brief amount of time this division has been released upon the world, it’s already affecting crime. This weekend five juvenile delinquents were caught drinking alcohol while under-age. It was easy for the officers to apprehend the kids, since they were all laughing so hard they stumbled to the ground gasping for air as they saw the officers rolling towards them on their dumb-looking transporters.
The Segway is not without its problems. For one, there is no dashboard to put food on. Another is the lack of a cup-holder, which designers are working furiously on. There is also the question of where to put the emergency lights and sirens. At first they were put into the front of the handle-bars, but that had an effect on the balancing of the scooter. It was finally decided that officers using the scooters were to wear special helmets with a siren and light attached to the top, in order to signal their movement as well as make criminals on the run hysterical in laughter, making apprehension much easier.