Three-wheel electric carving vehicle re-writing police story, gets tryout with Santa Barbara, Calif. cops.
What could be cooler and more futuristic than a cop on an electric Trikke? Perhaps nothing, as more and more law enforcement officials the world over are finding out.
Add to that list the Santa Barbara, Calif., Police Department, now in the midst of a six-week test-drive with the 48-volt Trikke Tribred Pon-e.
That’s two Pon-e’s, to be exact, both black and both being put to use in daily operations in two of the city’s bustling commercial zones, downtown Santa Barbara and upper State Street.
Officers first met their new three-wheel carving machines during a three-hour training with Gildo Beleski, inventor of the Trikke, and John Simpson, CEO of Trikke Tech, Inc..
“Every single one of them got on it and they loved it,” says Simpson. “They raved about being able to bank into turns, the Trikke’s portability, the ability to go on and off curves, the fact that it looks cool, which is important.”
The cool factor shouldn’t be underestimated, especially when commanding respect and authority, which is where this police story segues to Segway, a vehicle that few would call cool, according to Simpson:
“Law enforcement — those guys don’t like to ride Segways, don’t wanna be seen on them. They’re tired of hearing people say, ‘Mall Cop.’”
In fact, it was Simpson’s discovery that the SBPD was testing Segways that gave him the idea to contact the department, noting, “the electric Trikke is the alternative to the Mall Cop.”
Almost as further proof, during the training period, the Sargent-in-charge received a call, zipped off on one of the Pon-e’s, then returned 10 minutes later. Call answered. Mission accomplished.
Simpson seemed impressed, and apparently, so, too, were the officers with the Trikke.
“I’m very optimistic, but you never know,” said the CEO about the Pon-e’s chances of joining the Force. “The officers at the training seemed intent on ‘finding the funds to get a couple,’ as they told me, but time will tell.”
The electric Trikke Tribred Pon-e is already in use as a tool of law enforcement in other areas, including Baltimore, Maryland, Cicero, Illinois, and Sacramento, where the sheriff department patrols the airport on Trikkes.
Elsewhere, in Dubai, parking enforcement officials made an initial investment of 25 electric Trikkes, then — pleased with the results — purchased 69 more.
“They doubled the amount of territory each officer could cover in a shift,” says Simpson.
At that rate, Trikkes are bound to continue carving out a name in law enforcement.
Video: Dubai parking enforcement
Related police story:
Cops, Segways and Trikkes converge in Hawthorne, Calif.