The Edmonton Police Service is hardly the most technologically savvy group in the city (I mean just look at their website) but they are now launching a pilot program to “test a fascinating new piece of technology.” Yes, while the rest of the world considers the Segway old news, EPS is grinning from ear to ear (careful, link is for a Word file…they don’t even have HTML press releases):
In an effort to explore new and innovative methods of community-policing, the EPS is testing this equipment to evaluate its usefulness within Edmonton. Citizens can expect to see EPS officers patrolling on Segways at the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton, Capital Ex, West Edmonton Mall, and other special events.
The two “vehicles” that Segway donated to EPS for the pilot project are similar to commercially available models but also have emergency lights and a siren. The press release notes that “an officer on a Segway will stand 8 inches above the rest of the crowd and will be able to respond to emergencies in a fraction of the time it would take them on foot.” You don’t say!
All joking aside, I think this is good news for Edmontonians. Segways likely won’t be filling up the sidewalks anytime soon, but they are excellent for specific verticals such as law enforcement. Apparently police in Vancouver, Toronto, and Windsor have also started testing Segways.
Read: EPS Website