Segways on the Boardwalk

Police use battery-operated vehicles to get around

Long Beach boardwalk-goers may notice police patrolling in a different way these days – on battery-powered Segways.

The two-wheel Segways, which the officers stand atop, were recently taken out of storage after about five or six years. Segways are zero-emission personal transporters that deliver energy efficiency equivalent to 450 miles per gallon, police officials said.

“They’re really green, with no emissions," said Sgt. Eric Cregeen, a public information officer for the Long Beach Police Department. "You just plug them in at night and they’re ready to go with a full charge the next day,"

The department's Segways are still in good shape, move well and could probably reach speeds of 12 MPH, Cregeen added, and officers using them could patrol a greater area more efficiently. “They could cover more territory with one or two Segways than with five or six officers on foot," he said. "It’s an interesting piece of equipment.”

The more lightweight vehicles are expected to relieve some of the wear and tear that patrol cars leave on the boardwalk.

“The boardwalk beach maintenance people notified us that the boardwalk has been torn up by the patrol vehicles, so we’re going to limit their use to the late evenings when their presence is necessary," he said. "You will not see them ripping down the boardwalk at four in the afternoon.”

The Segways will be used by Long Beach Special Police Officers who are college-age kids pursuing a degree in criminal justice. Long Beach police were given 24 [specials] during the summer. They are mainly assigned to write tickets for beer drinking, loitering or disturbing the peace.

“But they could also find missing kids and reunite them with their parents and we may use them during Irish Day festivities,” Cregeen said.

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Warren Vegh, executive director of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, said the lighter vehicles will not do as much damage to the boardwalk and will increase the officer’s maneuverability. "We’ve already gotten good feedback from everybody," he said.

“It’s vital that we have these Segways out on patrol and not in storage,” LBPD Commissioner Michael Tangney in a statement. “They’re environmentally friendly and enable our special officers to patrol a wide area in a significantly shorter period of time than if they were on foot.”

Candygram for Mongo August 28, 2012 at 10:26 AM
Why u keep in storage so long
Ray August 28, 2012 at 11:28 AM
SWEEEEEETTTTT now our boys in light blue will official look like mall rent-a-cops!!!! Paul Blart to the rescue.
LBLover August 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM
The reporter should report more on this story... Why are 600 dollar Segways sitting in storage? The police and beach maintenance just realized that driving on the boardwalk isn't good for the boardwalk..I don't even know what to say
Longbeacher August 28, 2012 at 11:49 AM
SPECIAL police ,what a waste ,id love to know how much $ these guys bring in with tickets compared to who much $ we pay them .i can see giving these to the police ,but the special police ?why not just give them bikes ,not a $4500 toy to play with.
Lynn Steven Brown August 28, 2012 at 11:57 AM
good job LBPD,2 wheel bikes can also be used
Love This City August 28, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Wait until the first segway hits a popped up board and a "police officer" or a "special police officer" gets hurt and sues the city..... "“The boardwalk beach maintenance people notified us that the boardwalk has been torn up by the patrol vehicles, so we’re going to limit their use to the late evenings when their presence is necessary," he said. "You will not see them ripping down the boardwalk at four in the afternoon.” So large police vehicles weigh less in the late evenings?
Eddie August 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM
There's no shortage of criticism for Tangney and here he's trying something good and nobody has yet to offer a good word. He dug these things out of storage where they were rotting away and it trying once again to put them to use. That takes some effort and training. It would have been easier to forget about them. Nice job, Michael Tangney. But this LBPD "public information officer" title really needs some reconsideration. The appearance is that this 80-man force needs to pay some $150,000 officer to give out information? That opens the door to way-too-much criticism. My two cents, and I doubt the Segways will prove to be an asset, but congratulations for giving them a try!
LBLover August 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Still wondering why we bought them and put them in storage in the first place. Glad Tagney dusted them off.. what else is in the storage unit?
Derek V August 28, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Q1: So why were they put in storage all these years? A1: Because they proved to be impractical. Q2: So what's changed?
Charlie Cheswick August 28, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Not for nothing, but can we make sure these guys are wearing helmets as well? There's a lawsuit waiting to happen. "My client would have worn a helmet but the city didn't provide one for him...so we're asking for a mere $14 million in damages."
Candygram for Mongo August 28, 2012 at 01:26 PM
i bet they kept them in storage because they thought people would laugh at them
exhausted August 28, 2012 at 01:41 PM
That's wacked!
anna August 28, 2012 at 02:05 PM
The Long Beach Police Dep't loves to buy every type of gadget out there. That is why these were purchased and then put into storage. I am glad to see that at least they are being put to use now. I'd like to know what other expensive gadgets were purchased by the Dep't but are not in use.
CP August 28, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Are we going to see cops riding these or the renta-ticket/writers playing with them all day!
Earthling August 28, 2012 at 02:46 PM
If they were, or are, so practical and wonderful, why put them away in the first place? And why wait till summer is over? Makes no sense, which seems to be the norm here.
mosco August 28, 2012 at 03:56 PM
I can't believe driving a massive Chevy Tahoe down a wooden boardwalk would damage it. So great they caught on to this early. I have never seen a police force with so many different vehicles. The LBPD literally has everything to avoid walking. Dodge chargers, tahoes, massive pick up trucks, ATV's, golf carts, boats, motorcycles, segways. What else am I missing? Maybe the officers' in the Tahoe should put a few Segways in the trunk so when they park they could just pull em out and segway over to the scene.
dandyrandy August 28, 2012 at 04:42 PM
@mosco you forgotbicycles, durangos and ford crown vic police interceptors; as well as an assortment of unmarked cars that plain clothes cops used to use in the west end on summer weekend nights. I remember a soft to jeep wrangler they used to have as a beach vehicle about 15-20 years ago, I wonder if that is in storage, i used to think it was cool as a kid
Anomous August 28, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Weren't the segway's used on the sidewalks of Park Ave.? I heard that one was involved in an accident causing injury and that is why they were put in storage.
exhausted August 28, 2012 at 07:03 PM
who cares....
Matt Markell August 28, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Glad to see that they finally figured out that driving heavy vehicles on the boardwalk had a tendency to cause the nailed down boards to pop up and trip people. And it only took 4,5,6 or more decades. Some of LB's "Brain Trusts" are nothing short of amazing!
Tom O August 28, 2012 at 07:49 PM
With two weeks left in the summer, time to make some moves
Ga Ry August 28, 2012 at 08:18 PM
1. Why tell us about the "Specials", who only work for another week or so now??? 2. Why werent these efficient vehicles in use since the day the Police Dept. wasted tax dollars on them? 3. Why aren't regular police officers using these vehicles on the boardwalk during times when there are not "specials"? 4. The boardwalk is in a state of total disrepair already and it is Long Beach's single greatest attraction other than the beach itself. Why on earth would the city allow cars weighing almost 4000 lbs and SUVs weighing around 6000 pounds to drive on and destroy our boardwalk. You can hear the boards popping up as the Police vehicles drive by every day. Its just flat out stupid. 4.
Ga Ry August 28, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Also, there are 4wd SUV's and ATVs already patrolling the beach and Broadway. So, exactly what are the vehicles driving ON the boardwalk looking for?
BOBO August 28, 2012 at 10:12 PM
They should sell off all this crap!The boat, harley's,sport cars,segway's and atv's.Get rid of the Special's and five kids in each booth! Than buy a hot air baloon and have City Hall blow it up...
Mitchell Radosh August 28, 2012 at 10:32 PM
No wonder home prices in all of the coastal communities, except long Beach, are seeing big price hikes and lots of buyers. Home buyers from off the Island want to live close to the amenities that Long Beach offers without the nonsense that comes with actually living in Long Beach. In addition, Long Beach residents are voting with their feet and buying homes in Lido Beach , Pt. Lookout, East Atlantic Beach and Atlantic Beach. All of those areas are seeing huge interest form home buyers.
Steve N August 28, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I think I saw a boat or two in there collecting rust.
Juliet D. August 29, 2012 at 01:27 AM
A better idea would be to merge the LB PD into the Nassau County Police to save money , increase efficiency and professionalism and reduce political manipulation. LB needs more real police not college kids practicing.
BSM August 29, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Long Beach has more bizarre vehicles for the police than any place on earth. Are our actual police too important to use the Segways? And let's set the record straight and give credit where it is due. There is a group, started on Seaby theCity.com, called Screw the Boardwalk. The man who thought it up has met with the City Manager and Director of Public Works, intending to offer the groups labor to screw down (instead of nailing) the boards and replacing as necessary. He raided the issue of vehicular traffice on the boardwalk and got assurances that it would be curtailed. There were other considerations broached by the City so we will have to see what we are actually able to do to get the boardwalk back into good condition. Well Done, John!
I.D. August 29, 2012 at 02:43 AM
LB Boardwalker August 31, 2012 at 09:08 AM
I think it is unfair of us as a community to be so critical of LBPD. Afterall, they did manage to get through an entire summer without running over anyone sunning themselves obn the beach. As a reward, I say let them play around a little on the two-wheeler vehicles, if it makes them happy. As to helmets, I don't know if they are really going to provide much protection. Perhaps Buger King crowns?


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