UMW police officers have a new ride.
Though they weren’t sure what to expect when the T3 Series electric standup vehicle (ESV) arrived this summer, the groundbreaking gadget has made campus police more approachable. And that is just what President Richard V. Hurley hoped for when he requested that the force adopt the Segway-like vehicle.
“When we have it out, it attracts a lot of attention,” said Police Department Business Manager James DeLoatch. “It’s a good conversation piece, and [the officers] really enjoy operating it.”
With three wheels and a low center of gravity, the T3 is more stable than the Segway. It’s taken some tinkering to get it down to speed for campus use. The low-noise, zero-gas emission ESVs max out at 20 miles per hour, but UMW’s model is set at half that for safety reasons.
“It’s really cool to ride, but we don’t want to see anybody flying down Campus Walk,” DeLoatch said. The battery-operated machines are not approved for on-street use.
T3s are just starting to catch on as a way of patrolling Virginia campuses, he said, so UMW will probably purchase more in the future. For now, though, UMW’s one ESV is turning plenty of heads.
And that’s a good thing, “especially during an event like Discovery Days, when we have a lot of parents and prospective students on campus,” DeLoatch said. “It’s great for them to see something different.”