June 11, 2010 11:49:00 AM
Kristin Mamrack -
Having three-wheeled vehicles will improve police presence at community festivals and events, as well as patrols in neighborhoods and downtown Columbus, said officials with the Columbus Police Department.
Within a month, the CPD expects to have three T3 zero-gas emission vehicles, manufactured by T3 Motion, Inc.
The T3 Series vehicles, which officials said are safer than two-wheeled Segways, which the department has borrowed occasionally from the West Point Police Department, get the equivalent of more than 500 miles per gallon of fuel.
Additionally, they are cost-effective, using about 1.5 kilowatts of electricity to fully recharge in less than four hours, said company officials.
"The big thing is we want to incorporate (a T3 vehicle) for our parking tickets," CPD Chief Joseph St. John said of the vehicles, which are capable of speeds up to 25 miles per hour. "We really want that person to be able to spend more time downtown marking tires (for parking violations).
"You can''t beat ''em," he added of the T3 vehicles, for which three CPD officers are being trained to operate. "They''re just great for getting from one place to the other. They''re just very, very convenient for tight places and places where you''re not having to drive long distances."
Currently, Gulfport is the only other city in the state to use T3 vehicles.
"They''ll just be really good for special events, like Market Street and Heritage festivals," CPD Lt. Randy Karg said of the T3s, noting the CPD''s T3 vehicles will be equipped with blue police lights and sirens.
The T3 Series vehicles have user-selectable speed settings, vertically and horizontally adjustable LED high-intensity headlights, and payload capacities of up to 450 pounds.
The CPD''s T3 vehicles will be serviced and maintained in Georgia.