VERONA, N.J., February 14, 2019 (Newswire.com) - VERONA, N.J., February 14, 2019 (Newswire) - The Garfield New Jersey Police Department’s Community Affairs Division is taking a bold new direction by employing electric scooters. Captain Martin Gray and Sergeant Jeff Stewart recently purchased two Magnum electric scooters from The Electric Spokes Company of Verona New Jersey as part of a strategic initiative to be more visible in the community. The scooters will be employed to connect with residents, local businesses, and community organizations throughout the Garfield municipality. The officers traverse Garfield’s business, residential neighborhoods and older adult housing centers daily promoting a multi-generational, multicultural and age-friendly approach to policing.
The City of Garfield is a diverse community that is currently home to over 30,000 residents. Prior to purchasing the scooters, Sargent Stewart spent months researching a broad range of personal e-mobility vehicles. When weighing the options between electric bicycles and electric scooters, it quickly became clear that electric scooters would allow for more community engagement due to its slower speeds and overall uniqueness. “The electric scooters are definitely a conversation starter. No one expects a police officer to roll up on an electric scooter. We felt that the use of an electric scooter made us appear more approachable and it humanized the badge. To the best of my knowledge, no other police department has incorporated the electric scooters to this degree. We wanted to be first. The fact that they are environmentally friendly was also very appealing.”
Choosing the right scooter was a big challenge. There is an explosion of electric scooters appearing on city streets across the U.S. Unfortunately, most of the consumer models are limited in battery capacity and power wattage preventing them from becoming a real alternative e-vehicle for law enforcement. The S1+ has one of the strongest motors and largest battery capacities available. In order to begin assessing the advantages and disadvantages of specific scooter models, Capt. Gray and Sgt. Stewart identified a local retailer whom they could develop a partnership to address specific challenges of using an electric scooter in-service. “We wanted be sure that we had a place that we could take the scooter to if we needed service or repair," said Capt. Gray.
Gray and Stewart decided on the Magnum IMAX S1+ for their first season on an e-scooter. “It’s clearly a leader in the electric scooter industry,” says Derek Mithaug a co-owner of the Electric Spokes Co. “The Magnum S1+ features a 500w motor, disc-rear brake, integrated braking light and a 48v 10ah battery giving riders a range of up to 20 miles on a single charge.” Long hours on the scooters and long distance was high priority which is another advantage of the Magnum S1+.
The Garfield Police Department Community Affairs Department is one of a handful of municipal community affairs programs in the state which are tasked directly with building community relationships by becoming more visible and approachable. “We regularly traverse Garfield city borders meeting and talking to both residents and business owners every day,” says Sgt. Stewart. “We expect to be very visible this coming Spring at all of our community events, ball games, street fairs, parades and more. The electric scooters give us more mobility while inviting people to have a conversation with us.”
Electric scooters are just one example of a growing industry of micro-mobility e-vehicles appearing in cities across the U.S. Many police departments are taking note of e-bikes as an alternative vehicle to the traditional bike. This past November, the Great Neck Estates Police Department of New York purchased its first e-bike: a Bulls Six50 E2 Street E-Bike.
Electric bikes and e-scooter sales and use have skyrocketed this past year due to an increase in riders of all ages. E-riders are finding micro-mobility to be fun and effective alternative to walking, public transportation, or an Uber.
About the Garfield Police Department
About Electric Spokes Co.
The Electric Spokes Company is a first-of-its-kind e-mobility retailer. The company specializes in e-bikes, e-scooters, e-skateboards, e-trikes and riding accessories. They believe in sustainable micro-mobility through electric scooters and bicycles. The company recently launched its franchise division Voltaire Cycles Franchises offering business entrepreneurs the opportunity to join the e-revolution through launching their own e-mobility retail store.