It looks like a bit like a three-wheeled chariot, and it allows Bellevue Police to patrol downtown sidewalks and streets in a people-friendly, environmentally-friendly way. It's also dirt cheap to operate.
This month downtown police officers began working the beat on a T3 Motion electric scooter, ideal for community policing in an urban environment. Bellevue Police are among the first law enforcement agencies in the state to add such a vehicle to its fleet. The T3, which can travel up to 18 mph, is appropriate for areas where officers need to respond quickly, but where pedestrian traffic or the layout of the area would impede a larger vehicle.
Bought for $13,166, with money donated by the Bellevue Police Foundation, the T3 can go a 10-hour shift without recharging the battery, but allowing officers to patrol in an up-close and personal way may be its best feature. Like the city's bike officers, officers on personal electric vehicles are perceived as more approachable by the public, which consistently improves public relations.
"People see us on it and stop us," said Downtown Squad Corporal Gary Cook. "They're curious and think it's cool."
Weighing in at about 300 pounds, the T3 can carry up to 450 pounds. It boasts a zero-degree turning radius and is rigged with police lights and a siren. Rated as a bicycle, it can travel on the road and sidewalks. A helmet is required.
And the energy efficiency is noteworthy. The T3 can run all day on energy costs calculated in pennies, not dollars.
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