Charleston police getting innovative on street patrols

Image by Flickr user intothelens4149Image by 20081009t32.jpg Meet the T3 Motion.

Update October 20: The Post and Courier has done their own piece on the T3s, and I simply must share their description of seeing one to you: "... a gleaming white contraption that looks like a commandeered vacuum cleaner."

Glorious. I have yet to see one of the local police on one, but I look forward to it.

Hop over to The Post and Courier for lots more on these alternative-motion devices, also take a gander at the video of them in action.

I still think they'd be far better off using Segways, especially as the Charleton Police is limiting the speed of the T3s to half of their 25-mph top speed, which is the same top speed as the Segway.

Original post: As both gas prices and the peninsula's population density skyrocket, Charleston Police are getting more innovative on how they patrol the streets and interact with pedestrians.

The agency has already adopted motorcycles and even Segways to tackle those chages, but now they're looking to use the T3 Motion. Though the ATV-like vehicle is often compared to the Segway because it's battery powered and the rider stands upright, the similarities end there.

The T3 is three-wheeled while the Segway is only two-wheeled and uses some fancy high-tech goodness to be ultra-stable, but the T3 can go around twice as fast as the Segway (25 mph vs 12 mph). However, the T3 will be decidedly less maneuverable in a crowd (and on narrow King Street sidewalks), the T3 is a good ten inches wider than the Segway at 34.6 inches. -- And the width is a crucial difference the T3 has received a lot of criticism for.

I can't sum it up any better than Wired:
Demoed at the 2007 International Security Convention West in Las Vegas, the Security Bike (how did they think of that name?) will speed along at 25mph, although the bad guys are likely to be laughing so hard that you could just walk over and cuff 'em.

Amazingly the T3 seems to cost more than the Segway, Wikipedia cites the Segway cost at "$5,350 to $6,400" and Wired put the T3 cost at $8,000.

The Charleston City Paper has done some digging into the how, what, and why of the city's decision to get the T3s.

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