Port Angeles police to try electric scooter for downtown patrol

PORT ANGELES — The city’s downtown resource officer soon could be patrolling the streets on a battery-powered scooter called a Segway.

One of the Segway Personal Transporters, which was first produced in 2001, is arriving in Port Angeles this afternoon.

The Police Department will give the two-wheeled device, which is ridden standing up, a two-week tryout, said Deputy Police Chief Sterling Epps.

He hopes that the scooter will be impressive enough to elicit donations from the community, so that the department can buy one.

The $5,500 price tag, which includes additional equipment necessary for police patrols, is about a $1,500 discount.

“Segway is offering it at the wholesale price,” Epps said.

“I hope the community will support this, and private funds can be raised.”

While it’s here, “we hope to make some arrests,” he said.

The scooters can travel at speeds of up to 12.5 mph, go as far as 24 miles on one battery charge, and use no gasoline at all.

“It’s totally silent. It’s absolutely energy efficient,” Epps said.

“We can plug it in to charge, and then the officer can go anywhere in town.”

Downtown resource officer Duane Benedict will be trained on the scooter, so that, as the certified training officer, he can teach others.

The original plan was to introduce it at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, but because of that night’s full agenda, it will be introduced to each council member individually, Epps said.

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