Bloomington officers are hitting the streets, or the B-Line Trail on two wheels. Lieutenant Jimmy Ratcliff of the Bloomington Police Department says officers go through intense training including a 17 minute safety video along with inside and outside training sessions. The Segway Personal Transporters made their debut at the end of June when the B-line trail officially opened. They were specifically purchased to keep the trail safe for residents.
“One of the things is the environmental benefit; since these are electric they don’t use any fossil fuels so they’re a green mode of transportation,” says Ratcliff. He also says there is a height advantage to riding on the Segway, which is also beneficial for security reasons. “I’m about 5-10, but it brings me up to 6-4 so if I’m out and about, riding around, I can see up above other people.”
Lieutenant Ratcliff explains that speed, maneuverability and comfort are a few advantages of the Segways. It also gives the Police Officers an opportunity to interact with more of the local residents.
“It gets you down to the public’s level, you’re outside with them. You can actually interact with the public where as if you’re in a squad car it’s pretty hard to do that.”