The New York City police department is testing the Segway as a patrol vehicle. Ten of the two-wheeled Segways are being deployed today on pathways and boardwalks in parks, at beaches and at stadiums. Twenty-five officers have completed training as Segway drivers, enabling them to maneuver the devices safely for up to eight continuous hours. “Their obvious advantages are visibility and mobility,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Segways can roll up to 12.5 miles per hour.
New York’s use of Segways is modest compared with that of several other police departments, which have been among the largest customers of the devices since they were introduced in 2001. Segway Inc., a New Hampshire company that calls its device the Segway Personal Transporter, said it was being used by more than 400 police agencies and security organizations around the world. The Chicago Police Department has 50 and the Italian Railway Police uses 75. In 2003, New York tested Segways, but they had battery problems. Kelly said the problem had been corrected in the new Segways, which each cost $5,300.