The University of Michigan Health System announced that its Security Services Department has purchased two Segway Personal Transporters to help its officers more efficiently deter crime on the medical campus.
The new Segway Patrol Team will be made up of 23 officers from the Security Services Department who have been trained on the Segways and will wear new uniforms that include bright yellow jackets designed for increased officer visibility.
The transporters, which can reach speeds of up to 13 mph, allow the officers to travel around campus more quickly. Also, because officers are lifted several inches off the ground on the Segway’s platform, they are given a slightly better view of the area they are patrolling.
“Our Segway Patrol Team allows our officers to be more interactive within the community by providing fast response times for calls of service in high-traffic areas and non-patient areas within the hospitals,” said Lt. Rod Allen, supervisor of UMHS Security Services.
In addition to non-patient areas within the hospital, the Segway Patrol Team may soon be seen in outside courtyards, parking structures and sidewalks that surround the perimeter of the medical campus.
The team is now using the Segways in the University Hospital on non-patient floors during midnight shifts. In the coming weeks, they hope to roll out the transporters for day-time use.
The UMHS Security Services Department was able to purchase the new Segway transporters at approximately $5,000 each, with funds from a state homeland security grant by the Washtenaw County Homeland Security Task Force.
The Force is responsible for coordinating grant funding for preparedness and response enhancement projects that are approved by the Department of Homeland Security.
The role of health care security has expanded and changed in recent years. The work force must be trained to defuse potentially dangerous situations, from physical threats to bioterrorism.
Allen says that depending on the level of success the Segways bring to Security Services, the department may purchase more transporters.
More at www.med.umich.edu/security/index.htm.
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