BYU police decide against Segway use

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BYU Police vehicles are parked west of the JKB, where BYU Police headquarters is located. BYU uses both vehicles and bicycles for transportation when patrolling campus and regulating on campus parking. (Sadie Blood)
BYU Police vehicles are parked west of the JKB, where BYU Police headquarters is located. BYU uses both vehicles and bicycles for transportation when patrolling campus and regulating on campus parking. (Sadie Blood)

BYU police recently considered the idea of buying Segway patrol vehicles as a new way to maneuver on campus. After using the considered vehicle, Brigham Young University Chief of Police Larry Stott made the decision that it would not be beneficial for campus police.

Stott made the decision for a few reasons and has decided to put time and energy into another matter.

“The Segway vehicles are really neat, and there’s nothing negative I can say about them,” Stott said. “It’s not that we desperately need new equipment right now, but we are always keeping an eye out for the best equipment. The Segways just aren’t really what we are looking for at this moment, and we’re deciding to go in a different direction. We have really great bicycle officers, so we are going to put more effort into the bikes by putting an electric assist on them to help the officers with the big hills. ”

The cost of each Segway patrol vehicle being considered ranged around $12,000 each. BYU Police was undetermined as far as how many units were under consideration for purchase.

Segway Patrol created the vehicles the police looked at.

“Today, more than 1,500 police and public safety organizations across the globe have deployed Segway Patrollers,” according to the company’s website, segway.com. “The Segway Patroller is embraced by this market because it is a valuable tool that allows officers to create innovative community policing programs and patrol all sorts of indoor and outdoor environments while better connecting with the citizens and communities they serve.”

BYU Police considered the idea of adopting the Segway machines because it is always looking for new ways to improve police response time and collaboration on campus.

“As the campus continues to evolve into a walking campus, the traditional patrol car is becoming less effective as to officer rapid response, visibility and public collaboration,” said BYU Lieutenant Arnold Lemmon.

Even though the decision has been made to not move forward with the purchase of the Segway patrol vehicles, BYU Police plans to still make changes on campus to create effectivity.

“In lieu of going with the Segway SE-3 Patroller, we intend to expand our current bike patrol program,” Lemmon said.

Many employees of BYU Police are satisfied with its current transportation system on campus.

“Others may like the Segway because you don’t have to pedal, but I like the bike, and the cardio is a good thing for an old man like me,” said BYU Patrol Officer Carl Whiting. “In another setting, Segways might be a great tool, but here there are so many steps and curbs that it might not be as easy. On campus, we have dips and sidewalks, and if you’re not careful or you’re in a hurry, you could easily get thrown off because the Segways don’t have much suspension.”

As the BYU Police Department continues to look for ways to improve, its mission statement regarding facilitating a peaceful and orderly environment remains the same.

“Brigham Young University’s state-certified police department is committed to providing a safe and peaceful environment for the BYU community,” Stott said on police.byu.edu. “By joining and working together with the students, faculty, and staff of Brigham Young University, we can create a strong, secure community for everyone to enjoy.”

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