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.”

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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