Tucson police deploy new personal vehiclesPosted: Updated:
We've seen police officers in cars. We've seen them on bicycles. We've even seen them on horseback and on foot. But now, we'll see them on something completely new.
The T3 is the latest and the greatest tool the Tucson police have as part of their walking patrol.
To the young kids and kids at heart the T3 maybe the coolest thing on wheels downtown.
"The first day we had a couple people safely at red lights, definitely checking us out and taking a look and asking question as we rode by," says Officer Matt Faulk.
This isn't any Paul Blart Mall Cop special. With three wheels, they're stable and can reach speeds over 20 miles an hour.
It may not sound like much, but it it's enough to keep beat cops from being "bait cops" when they show up at a scene.
"What we're finding is you get a call at Stone and Broadway and you get a call at 4th Avenue and 6th Street. That's a pretty long way to hoof it. To be able to have these and to respond more quickly is a benefit," says Assistant Chief Terry Rozema.
Another bonus, the high platform makes it easier for the officers to see.
"One officer can be in one area and be very visible since we are on an elevated platform and definitely visible to the public," says Officer Faulk.
The T3's are also environmentally friendly. No gas for these vehicles.
"It runs on batteries, you just plug it in at the end of the night. By the time you wake up the next morning for come in for your next shift, there charged and ready to go," explains Faulk.
Thanks to the Target Corporation and the Tucson Police Foundation, the police were able to purchase six T3's.
"I think its very important. We wouldn't be able to provide something like this in today's current budget and economic situation that not only the city but the nation is facing, provide something that keeps us on the cutting edge of law enforcement is very important," says Rozema.
There are about eight walking patrol officers downtown and they will share the T3's and patrol as teams.