DPSSS Adds New Vehicles to Promote Safety

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DPSSS Adds New Vehicles to Promote Safety

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By: Shah (Yuging Xia) / Photo Editor

The Department of Public Safety and Security Services has adopted a new form of transportation, and no- they are not Segways. The T3 Motion Personal Mobility Vehicles, new forms of  environmentally friendly transportation being used at university campuses across the county, allow DPSSS officers to navigate with more speed and flexibility.

“The motivation behind purchasing these personal mobility vehicles was basically trying to find another means to allow our officers to patrol campus,” Assistant Vice President and Director of DPSSS Roland Corvington said. “It will give us the speed to move around where you would not normally take an automobile.”

In the past, DPSSS officers have utilized bicycles and golf carts for transportation. The PMV is much faster, reaching up to 25 miles per hour.

In order to operate a PMV, DPSSS officers are required to undergo a two-hour training session led by an instructor from the T3 Motion Company. A designated officer at SLU will now train additional or new officers.

Territory can be covered more efficiently and more often with PMV transportation. DPSSS officers are assigned to beats, or confined zones in which they patrol. There are seven geographic areas on the main campus. Corvington said that patrol on the fringes of campus will benefit most from the addition of the ‘PMV.

Weighing approximately 300 pounds and 53 inches in height, each vehicle is imposing in terms of visibility.

“Because of the visibility, the presence of an officer is more pronounced,” Corvington said. “And again, what we are trying to do is prevent things from occurring.”

Corvington said that a potential criminal may be deterred from their actions after spotting a near-by officer on a PMV.

“If there is recognition that there is active controls on campus and the likelihood of their being caught is greater on SLU’s campus versus somewhere else, the hope is that they go somewhere else,” Corvingont said.

This major tool for DPSSS has strong evidence of success with other private sector organizations and universities. University of Southern California has thirty-five PMVs on its campus. Locally, Washington University has similar vehicles that are a bit smaller, and security at Lambert Airport makes use of Segways. In the past, Corvington said he found a comparable vehicle useful when serving as the assistant director for security for the FBI in Washington D.C. when supervising 250 officers.

The funds for the vehicles came from the DPSSS budget, rather than appropriating outside funds for the purchase. Corvington said he is confident that the PMVs are a very strong investment for the safety and security of the University community.

DPSSS offices will be moved to the Wool Building next semeste.. The new location includes a dock where the PMVs can be stored and the battery packs can be charged.

However, because PMVs are electric, excessive water may prove to be an issue, but excessive water on the electronics is the only conceivable concern. To ensure that water damage does not halt the use of the vehicles, the batteries are removable and DPSSS has purchased extra packs.

According to junior Ashley Hellebusch, the PMVs come as a source of humor as well as safety.

“The first time I saw them, I thought they were hilarious. They reminded me of the movie ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop.’” said Hellebusch.

Corvington said he hopes that the acquisition of the two vehicles will contribute to a greater effort to change and improve operations within DPSSS and “to make things better for everyone on campus.”