There is no doubt that today’s law enforcement professionals are faced with many challenges. Officers must be ready and able to respond at a moment’s notice. Technological advances in police vehicles have resulted in more efficient mobile patrols, which helps increase situational awareness and response time. Many police fleets across the country are also adopting green initiatives, which includes electric and bicycle options. Following is a look at some of the leading alternative police vehicles that allow officers to do more so they can focus on the safety of the citizens they are sworn to protect.
Polaris® Government and Defense is adding all-electric GEM® vehicles to its line of highly mobile, affordable, and professional public safety vehicles. Polaris firefighting, law enforcement, and rescue RANGER® and GENERAL® vehicles can go places cars, trucks, helicopters, and other alternative vehicles cannot. Now, Public Safety GEM e2 and e4® vehicles are available with fully integrated emergency lighting, sirens, and PA systems. These street-legal electric vehicles provide an option to police departments that demand all-electric economies and sustainability in urban settings.
GEM vehicles can save a significant amount of money for police department fleets. For example, the replacement of a single internal combustion vehicle can save $24,390 in total cost of ownership (initial purchase price plus annual cost of operation) over a seven-year period. Customers can calculate individual fleet savings using the Polaris GEM savings calculator online.
Street-legal GEM vehicles have seen long-term success on military bases, university campuses, and in city centers thanks to their safe, cost-effective, and mobility. The new GEM e2 and e4 Public Safety vehicles are equipped with professional emergency lighting, sirens, and PA systems to enable police officers to carry out tasks with familiar and proven equipment. GEM vehicles can travel on sidewalks, narrow alleys, and navigate between safety bollards. Since they are all electric, they can also operate indoors.
Each GEM vehicle can be specially customized for each department’s specific needs with rear storage options, heat, defrost, bumpers, and doors. This provides a unique alternative to other mobility options like full-size vehicles or motorcycles with greater approachability and low-speed maneuverability for community relations, parking enforcement, concerts, sporting events, parades, and park patrols.
GEM e2 and e4 vehicles also have long-range battery options, regenerative braking, payload options, automotive style suspension, and they are Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) certified when regulations call for it.
The versatile RANGER, GENERAL and GEM vehicles are used by both public safety and other government departments such as public works to maximize their utility. Street-legal GEM public safety vehicles and on and off-road RANGER and GENERAL law enforcement, fire, and rescue vehicles are available for purchase through GSA, Sourcewell (formerly NJPA), state or local contracts, or direct from Polaris. Once purchased, the vehicles are professionally upfit and delivered directly to the customer’s location, or their Polaris or GEM dealer of choice. The entire system comes fully set up for immediate use and is under full warranty from Polaris. Polaris also offers customers maintenance and operator training courses, or Polaris can be contracted directly to provide on-site service for the vehicles.
Polaris® Government and Defense is launching an all-new lineup of equipment for RANGER® side-by-side vehicles tailored to meet the duties and responsibilities of law enforcement, fire, and rescue personnel. The upfitted RANGER vehicles allow these organizations to perform critical duties in off-road and urban areas where other emergency response vehicles are not as effective. The equipment is professionally installed in a turn-key vehicle package with a full warranty from Polaris.
The Polaris RANGER helps improve response time in both urban and off-road locations where cars, trucks, and helicopters cannot operate. This includes narrow passageways and city events, as well as rugged, off-road terrain. RANGERs are also a budget-friendly alternative to full-size vehicles because they are less expensive to purchase, operate, and maintain.
RANGER law enforcement units provide professional, squad car-type capabilities in a nimble off-road and urban mobility vehicle complete with the same sirens, horns, PA system, and emergency lighting from Federal Signal. These are installed by Action Fleet, a professional emergency vehicle upfitter since 1995.
RANGER rescue vehicles incorporate a rear attendant seat and a stokes rescue basket. Rescue personnel can select between the full-length or break-apart basket for shorter overall length when not in use. Polaris also is providing a combination fire and rescue package, which includes the fire tank and equipment as well as the stokes rescue basket. The RANGERs maintain the option for the rear equipment skids to be removed altogether for use by other departments or jobs from public works to parades.
In addition, custom graphics can be added so vehicles match the rest of the fleet. All these new offerings come with traditional Polaris accessories options, such as the full cab, winches, storage, heating and air conditioning.
The COMMANDO Police Interceptor from Recon is designed and built for law enforcement. It is ideal for police departments, campus police, DNR, fishing and gaming, parks, greenways, event security, and more. Models can be customized to fit the mission-specific goals of departments, and lighting, siren, and rack options are available.
Improved community relations, cost savings, faster response times, and environmental benefits are just some of the reasons public safety departments are putting their officers on bikes.
The novelty of a police officer on a bike is often enough to overcome the negative perceptions that some citizens might have about law enforcement. In certain situations, people can develop a camaraderie with bike patrol officers that is difficult to cultivate with law enforcement personnel riding in cars.
In addition, individuals who break the law normally are not looking for bicycle officers. Many bicycle patrol officers will ride up to crimes in progress, unnoticed or unrecognized by the perpetrators until the last moment.
One of the biggest advantages to bicycle patrol is its ability to navigate quickly around college campuses, avoiding obstacles and hazards that would hinder a patrol vehicle. University and college campuses are typically car-free zones, buildings with limited vehicle access, events, texting pedestrians, and people skateboarding and even bicycling into traffic.
Responding to calls in a motor vehicle can take a great deal of time, and often the car cannot access a remote location or is blocked by pedestrians or other barriers. As for events, whether the situation is a sporting event, concert, or student protest, bicycle police have the unique ability to be in the midst of crowds with the means to get to other areas quickly. Bicycle officers encounter crime as it is happening and can see, hear, and even smell clues that lead them to areas where crimes are being committed.
Even in unruly crowd situations, bike officers have a unique ability to develop a rapport with the members, defusing situations before they get out of control. When they do, bike patrol officers cannot only maintain swift response times, but their bicycles can become a useful barrier. For safety reasons, bicycle officers are trained to hold up their bicycles at chest level while standing next to another bike officer.
The average fully equipped police bike costs approximately $2,000 and, if properly maintained, will last for years. They do not need gas for operation, nor the full-sized parking spaces required by other vehicles. Because bike patrols run on human power rather than gas, their carbon footprint is much smaller than patrol cars. With zero emissions, bicycle patrols may be an attractive option for campuses with green initiatives. An added benefit is that bike patrol officers tend to be healthier and more physically fit than officers in patrol vehicles.
While essential for community policing initiatives, bike patrols can be integrated into other operations and initiatives. Targeted enforcement, surveillance, traffic enforcement, and public order are just a few ways in which bike officers can be deployed.
Segway® Personal Transporter (PT) Patroller is the world’s number-one personal transportation solution for the public safety market. It was designed with the specific input of experienced law enforcement and security professionals to optimize the patrol experience while also enabling them to easily move through almost any type of environment.
The i2 SE Patroller is uniquely designed for law enforcement, private security, emergency services, and more. It offers the ultimate maneuverability, and with its charge anywhere technology, nearly unlimited range.
The x2 SE Patroller is built tough for more rugged terrain. It is equipped with ATV-style tires, which make it the perfect patrolling tool. Whether patrolling a park, wooded trail, construction site, or city sidewalk, the x2 SE Patroller can get officers where they need to be.
The upper reflective shield provides a location for department insignia. Integrated lighting features police and security color options. The lower reflective shield is available in white or optic yellow with customizable “POLICE” or “SECURITY” lettering in multiple languages. Segway’s Leansteer can easily be removed for storing and transporting the Patroller in almost any public safety vehicle.
Other features include a Patroller bag with battery storage, water bottle holder, and keychain clip. Comfort mats are optimized for riders, while cargo frames are used to mount cases and optional accessories. In addition, gliding lights allow pedestrians to see the Patroller in low-light conditions.
The SE-3 Patroller is a natural extension of Segway’s Patroller product line. It is an ideal match for missions that require a large yet versatile vehicle, with a significant command presence, even when in Park without a rider. The SE-3 Patroller is also a great solution for patrols that require a rider to frequently mount and dismount the vehicle during a patrol. Riders can power their phone, radio, or other accessories with the convenient 12v power outlet. A full-color display provides data including speed, battery life, and distance. The SE-3 has ample storage, including a lockable glove compartment. Other features include hot-swappable li-ion batteries, and “charge anywhere” technology lets officers top off in the field. Independent rear-wheel drive
provides enhanced terrain capability. A high-intensity LED headlight allows for continuous patrolling day or night. Red/Blue or Amber Whelen® alert lights on all sides. A variety of tools can be mounted on the SE-3’s accessory bar.
The T3 Patroller electric standup vehicle (ESV) was originally designed specifically to meet the needs of public safety agencies. It provides a unique set of features that enable officers to engage the community and respond to situations quickly and effectively. The T3 Patroller can be equipped with Motorola communication systems to communicate with a department’s network exactly like in patrol cars. Also, a vigilant automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) camera can be added as an option.
Law enforcement officers deal with a wide range of environments, from routine patrolling to crisis situations. Situational visibility, command presence, and agility are essential, and the T3 Patrollers are ideal for these types of patrols.
Public events such as festivals, parades, concerts, and sporting events often involve large and sometimes unruly crowds. These situations require vehicles that provide a high level of visibility, mobility, and operator safety. Plus, they must be able to negotiate restricted spaces as well as streets, sidewalks, parking facilities, and building interiors. The T3 Patroller brings the versatility needed to stand out in a crowd.
Campus safety patrols call for vehicles that are comfortable and easy to operate as well as agile and quick in responding to an emergency situation. A vehicle such as the T3 Patroller can play an important role in developing positive community relations with faculty, staff, and students.
The T3 Patroller is perfect for patrolling in unique locations. Parking enforcement activities take place in a variety of environments including municipalities, office complexes, retail malls, and schools. The T3 Patroller offers energy-efficient technology to reduce costs along with features that provide comfort and safety for the driver.
Trek has been committed to providing outstanding police bikes for 20 years. As communities and law enforcement’s needs evolve, bikes make more sense for patrolling. Patrol bikes need to be engineered, built, and maintained to a very high standard. Trek delivers a quality product in addition to customer support for police department fleets.
Trek offers both traditional and electric-assist police bike models in a full range of sizes. All of their Police bike models feature a light and tough alloy frame, a high-quality suspension fork, faster rolling 29-inch wheels, and patrol-ready features like a rugged rack and kickstand. In addition, smart features like a quick release seat post collar makes it easy to adjust saddle height for different riders.
Electric-assist bikes allow officers to have more range with less effort, making them better patrollers. Durability and serviceability are important for fleet bikes. The Trek Electric Police bike uses the proven Bosch electric-assist system. It is the same global motor and battery expertise they have put into commercial and consumer applications. The bike is equipped with a powerful Bosch motor for sustained speeds of up to 28 mph, which is faster than a squad car in some environments. Also, it is easy to recharge the lithium-ion battery on or off the bike with a convenient, yet secure, integrated battery.
Trek has a team dedicated to fleet sales to help get them through the process of partnering with police department fleets. They can answer questions about the product, help with the requisition process, and make sure departments are set up with a professional local bike shop for service. Law enforcement can start the process by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org