… and they actually look fun enough that I half decided to go to my local police academy if it has a standard patrol trike. The Trikke Positron, which is the official name of the troika, is an all-wheel drive electric scooter that may well force criminals to scratch their heads, at least if they have not yet been buttoned up.
The idea is that Trick trying to sell what is apparently the best patrol car for a cop.
As the company explains:
Studies have shown that moving officers from their cruisers to a more accessible mode of transport can lead to more than twice as much contact with the public. The benefits of beating police officers have been evident for years – more impromptu meetings with the public mean that citizens have stronger relationships with officers.
Simply put, getting out of the car humanizes the police and also has tactical advantages. Citizens who know their officers may be more willing to share information about the area in which they are located and express concerns, which in turn gives police officers a clearer idea of the streets they are designated for protection.
Positron has many of the same benefits that an agency can get from setting up a bike patrol: it’s a less threatening presence than a patrol car, its less easy to spot criminals because of its low profile, it can ride where cars can’t, it allows officers use more of your senses to detect crime, it saves agencies money and is good for the environment. But there are some benefits to the Positron that a traditional police bike can’t provide.
And of course, that might look a little silly. But wait until you see the specifications. These things are designed for speeds of 37-45 mph (60-72 km / h) based on a 60 or 72 V system. The highest model even delivers 4,000 watts of power! Paul Blart, eat your heart out!
The battery gives a range of 25-35 miles (40-56 km), which I guess varies depending on how many criminals you drag with you to the station. Lithium-ion batteries are also interchangeable, so you can install a new package when the first one discharges in the middle of the shift.
The Trikke Positrons have a separate motor that powers each wheel, and a complete independent suspension to keep the wheels in contact with the ground even on bumpy terrain. The frame with the bend can be strongly tilted in turns, which allows riders to maintain speed and even pull a hard turn.
And, of course, the police version is tricked with lights and sirens to work on a full Five-O if necessary.
The extra height of 12 inches above a normal adult gives police officers a better awareness of the situation in the crowd, similar to officers on horseback but without manure.
So far, officers who have tried threes seem to be using them.
Atlanta Police Lieutenant Brendan Barkh explained:
I really like using the positron. It has great mobility, speed, handling and visibility. I can drive down the street and drive where cars can’t go. It is perfect around parks and crowds.
According to Police Chief Joel Mopin of the District of Columbia Housing Office:
Our communities achieved great success last year with our public policing strategies and targeted patrols. With these new Trikkes our officers will be well visible but will also be able to move faster. Combining our efforts with the MPD Summer Crime Initiative will help reduce violent crime across the city.
Look, this is not my first rodeo. I know about something hilarious police car alternatives. And this is definitely one of them.
Seriously, I understand that this thing can be a very effective police tool, at least on paper. It is difficult to fit in a cruiser. It’s fast and nimble. It would be great to control the crowd as you are over everyone’s heads. You can ride faster than your bike without exhausting yourself. No maintenance is required. You don’t need to gas it or collect its bark. I understand. There are real benefits.
But I just don’t know how you can watch it roll over on one of them and not laugh. You may get used to it if it is common in your area. And hey, maybe “don’t scare” – that’s a good look for the police. If so, the Trikke Positron would be a giant step in the right direction.
If you’re not yet convinced, here’s a video of the device in action.
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