Once they obtain proper training and protective gear, Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies will cruise downtown sidewalks standing aboard two Segways, the gyroscopic scooters riders use their sense of balance to maneuver.
The Segways, a gift from the Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative, will allow deputies to move a little quicker, stand a little taller and go places a patrol car can’t go, said sheriff’s Capt. Steve Strickland, who appeared at a ceremony to accept the gift Thursday.
The vehicles, uncommon in Augusta, also may facilitate interactions between deputies and the public, Strickland said.
“In a way, they might bring adults in that don’t usually have a positive interaction” with the police, he said. “We had the same thing when we first used bikes.”
The gift included two bicycles formerly used by Clean Augusta personnel. Strickland said he expected the Segways and bikes to be painted or otherwise designated as equipment of the sheriff’s office.
Initiative board member Robert Kuhar presented the equipment on behalf of the downtown property owners who paid extra taxes for five years to fund the Clean Augusta program.
The program was discontinued last year by a vote of the Augusta Commission, but the Clean Augusta board voted to disburse its remaining assets, including the Segways, for the betterment of downtown Augusta, Kuhar said.