Transportation Technologies for Community Policing: A Comparison

Ross D. Petty, Babson College


Community policing not only deters crime and reassures residents, but also allows police to become aware of community concerns, observe possible criminal activities, and respond quickly to them. Foot patrols have the advantage of being the least costly, the most interactive with community members, and the most manoeuvrable through the urban environment. However, the range and speed is limited. Bicycles are second lowest in cost, still highly manoeuvrable and extend both the speed and range of the patrol officer. Automobiles are the most expensive patrol technology in both acquisition and maintenance. They have the greatest speed and range and allow apprehended suspects to be transported directly to headquarters. The new electric, self-balancing Segway Human Transporter is priced at $5,000–$8,000 with a top speed of 12 mph and a range of 14–15 miles per charge. Intended for sidewalk use, the Segway is fairly manoeuvrable, but at more than 80 pounds it is less transportable than a bicycle.


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