At 6-feet-5, with size 15 feet, York City Police Officer Mike Davis wasn't exactly comfortable riding a Segway.
But as one of the city's designated downtown officers -- who don't use patrol cruisers -- a Segway would be useful in a number of ways, he said, including being able to make traffic stops, chasing down fleeing suspects and simply having a ready-made conversation starter with passers-by.
In fact, the department already has three that have become an integral part of the downtown officers' patrol work, according to Officer Blake McBride. He's been riding them since 2005.
"They absolutely make a difference," he said.
PeoplesBank donated the police department's first two Segways in 2007, then a third in 2008, according to Nathan Eifert, the York County-based bank's vice president and director of marketing.
Fourth in fleet: So when York City Police approached bank officials about possibly donating a fourth Segway-type vehicle -- this one a new, beefed-up model -- PeoplesBank didn't hesitate, Eifert said.
"We love to be able to help as much as we can," he said, adding the city's "hometown heroes" deserve the best equipment to do the job.
Outside City Hall on Thursday, bank officials presented the keys for the new T3 Patroller by T3 Motion to York City Police Chief Wes Kahley, who called PeoplesBank officials "great partners" with the city.
York Mayor Kim Bracey praised the new vehicle as being "the newest tool" in community policing. And Davis said it's perfect for larger officers, like him.
"I'm looking forward to making my first traffic stop with it," he said.
It's chunky: No one would describe the T3 as streamlined.
It's much bigger than a Segway, doesn't require the rider to maintain balance, boasts a much larger foot platform and has all kinds of bells and whistles. They include an integrated high-definition video camera system, a GPS locator, flashing lights and a siren.
It can go about 15 mph, a bit faster than the Segways' 12.5 mph. Eifert said it cost about $11,000.
Davis took the T3 for a spin at Thursday's presentation, deftly maneuvering at impressive speed around reporters, city officials and representatives of PeoplesBank.
"He's like a ballerina," city police Capt. Ron Camacho quipped.
"This will give us the ability to cover a lot more ground," Davis said.
Crowd control: Standing on the T3's 9-inch-high platform makes Davis "Shaq-sized," he said, and give him an elevated view of what's going on around him.
"It's good for crowd control," Davis said, including parades and other city events that draw large numbers of people. "You can identify problems in a crowd."
Davis has been a downtown officer for about a year now, and says he enjoys community policing.
"I like to solve problems," he said.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.