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Annapolis, Maryland Capitol police get rugged, 3-
Local police have a new mode of transportation: three-wheeled, battery-operated scooters.
Both the Annapolis Police Department and the Maryland Capitol Police, formerly Department of General Services Police, now have the T3, a scooter that's like a Segway, on which a police officer stands to power around.
But it's a larger and sturdier vehicle that's catching on among police departments
J. Henson - The Capital
Sgt. Matthew Warehime holds one of the two
lithium batteries that powers the T3 scooter owned
by the Department of General Services Maryland Capitol Police. The police plan to use the energy-
efficient T3 to patrol Lawyers Mall and other busy
buildings. The city Police Department also recently purchased one of the electric scooters.
said Sgt. Matthew Warehime, of the state Department of General Services Maryland
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The Capitol Police used a $9,300 grant from the Maryland Energy
The administration picked up the cost because the T3 is an energy-efficient vehicle. It doesn't use any gas, just lightweight, rechargeable lithium batteries. A three-hour charge on the battery lasts a full eight-hour shift, officers said.
Agency officials said they plan to buy more batteries so the T3 can be kept in constant use by officers.
City police purchased two T3s that were paid for by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. The grant also covers maintenance of the machines for the first year, officials said.
"These were something that's available, and it's a good tool for us to have," said Jane Schlegel, city Police Department spokesman.
Several city officers already have been trained to use the scooters and more will be trained.
The scooters will be used for community policing, patrol efforts and crowd control, Mrs. Schlegel said. They'll be deployed as needed in the coming weeks.
The Maryland Capitol Police received its T3 earlier this month, and put it to use immediately. Officers have used it to patrol the brick walkways and in the nooks and crannies of the state office complex. They also used it for traffic control during the governor's holiday reception.
The manufacturer, T3 Motion of Costa Mesa, Calif., advertises that it costs just 10 cents per day to operate the scooter.
The Maryland Capitol Police's T3 is outfitted with a large police decal on the front, blue and red police LED lights and sirens. It has a throttle and brake on the right handlebar, similar to a motorcycle or an all-terrain vehicle. It operates in one gear and tops out at about 20 mph.
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The T3 also has hookups for radar detectors to help catch speeders, and the three-wheeled vehicle can be maneuvered in tight quarters.
"It's almost on-a-dime radius," Maryland Capitol Police Chief Phil Palmere said.
It's also good for crowd control and will be used heavily during the 90-day General Assembly session that starts Jan. 14, he said. The T3 also will be used for routine patrols in and around state office buildings.
Chief Palmere said he was impressed with the T3 when he saw it earlier this year at a police chiefs conference in Ocean City.
Sgt. Warehime saw one in action at a public-safety exposition in New Jersey. And Sam Cook, who heads Annapolis operations for the general services department, also said he liked what he saw when he came across a T3.
They all agreed it would be worthwhile to find a way to buy a T3. Chief Palmere said he'd like to buy one to use around state office buildings in Baltimore, too.
The T3 is the third small-sized, energy-efficient vehicle being used by Maryland Capitol Police officers in Annapolis. The agency has a souped-up, all-terrain golf cart that uses batteries recharged by solar panels on the roof. The agency also has a Segway.
The T3 is the first alternative mode of transport of its type used by the city department.
Staff writer Lisa Beisel contributed to this report.
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