Public safety officers at the University of North Alabama (UNA) got a little more visibility, thanks to the addition of three Segways to the campus security fleet, reports the Times Daily of Alabama. "You’re standing on a platform, so that when you’re riding around, you have a bird’s eye view, literally," said Sgt. Bobby Inman. "Our campus is getting to where we have a lot of foot traffic, and sometimes it’s not practical to take a car to a place … that’s closed in." Earlier this semester, UNA purchased three Segways for nearly $21,000. Increased visibility, as well as patrol flexibility and expansion, were the goals in mind, according to David Shields, vice president for student engagement. "The Segways are a more efficient transportation vehicle to patrol the center of the campus and areas not easily reached by a traditional patrol car," he said. Plus, they "reduce our use of gasoline in patrol vehicles, which saves costs." Three of the 11 public safety officers attended a trainer’s school to teach the other officers how to use the Segways, and Inman said there was a bit of a learning curve among the group, who had to trust two wheels rather than their two feet for balance. "It’s not hard to do, but you’ve got to understand how the Segway works," he said. "But the three officers who attended the school can ride through a building, open doors, and go through them without ever getting off." They are battery-powered, and Inman said a single charge will last throughout a shift. Inman said there are plans to add two more Segways to the department in the future. "The first three have passed the test to see if they were a good investment, and so far we’ve not had any problems," he said…

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