May 31, 2006 It started life with one of the most disasterous Public Relations gaffes of all time, but has been gaining ground ever since and it’s still one of our favourite toys. Late last year, Segway introduced its i180 Police package, which has become the basis for many of the purchases by municipal police and private security firms in recent months, with an order announced yesterday for 100 extra Segways from the City of Chicago. Worldwide, more than 125 law enforcement agencies now use Segway HTs to patrol a variety of environments, including high-density urban centers, universities, medical center campuses, shopping malls and airports. Another dozen federal and municipal agencies use the products for bomb squad response and explosive ordinance disposal.
The City of Chicago five-year, US$580,000 contract to purchase Segway HTs and associated accessories, is the largest municipal contract in the history of Segway.
"On both domestic and international fronts we are seeing strong momentum in the police and security sector, and we expect it to continue for the foreseeable future," says Klee Kleber, vice president of marketing, Segway Inc. "The patrol and community policing capabilities of the Segway HT have now been proven by some of the largest police forces in the U.S., and the environmental profile of the product enables agencies to reduce fuel costs and vehicle emissions. Together, these factors have placed us in an enviable market position."
The Chicago contract will allow the city to acquire up to 100 additional Segway HTs for use by a number of city departments, including Police, Fire, Airport Operations and Emergency Management. The city already owns more than 50 units that are used by officers to patrol O'Hare and Midway Airports and the downtown and lakefront areas of the city. The Chicago Fire Department also uses Segway HTs to provide EMS response during events.
"The Chicago Police and Fire Departments have found that Segway HT's enhance patrols and shorten police and EMS response times," said William Johnson, president of Segway Experience of Chicago, LLC. "They also know that these machines use no gasoline and will play a valuable role in holding down department fuel costs. The big winners are the citizens of Chicago who will enjoy a superior level of safety and security in the city's airports and downtown."