Police will unveil Monday three Segways that are being donated to the department by the San Jose Police Foundation to improve the way officers patrol downtown areas, police announced today.
San Jose will be the first major city in Northern California to use the personal transporters to help officers' patrol, according to the department. Other departments use them for parking control; the San Jose Airport police use them in this capacity. The Segways, which cost around $6,000 each, will be used primarily to help patrol the downtown area on weekend evenings.By patrolling on Segways officers will be more visible and available to patrons in the downtown area, which will improve community policing, Lt. Ruben Chavez said.
"Officers are more approachable from the perspective of a citizen in the community, so we get the added value of connection, which is very important," Chavez said of the benefits of Segways.
The transports have a maximum speed of 12 mph and can travel up to 24 miles after a full charge, which costs around 10 cents.
The foundation, started in 2006 by Chief Robert Davis, hopes to purchase another 2 or 3 Segways for the department after its fundraiser "Bowling for Badges," which will take place in May.
The ceremony to present the Segways will start at 2:30 p.m. at 101 Paseo de San Antonio in front of the San Jose Repertory Theatre.