The Use of Alternative Vehicles by Law Enforcement




Pehl, Paul

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Often when picturing a police vehicle, the image that immediately comes to mind is a normal four-door sedan or a sport utility vehicle. It is what the public and the law enforcement administrator has come to expect. Administrators of law enforcement agencies need to start thinking ‘out of the box’ when it comes to providing transportation for the officers that serve the community. As each community has a uniqueness that sets it apart from other communities, the ability to adequately serve all areas of a law enforcement’s community is different as well. Whether urban or rural, every community has areas that are not accessible to navigate with the normal police vehicle. Law enforcement officers are responsible for providing police services to all areas of the community equally. There are potential liabilities in not being able to provide equal law enforcement services when needed, just because the normal police vehicle was not able to gain access to the area due to irregular terrain, high pedestrian traffic or gridlocked traffic. Alternative police vehicles, such as bicycles, all-terrain vehicles, and Segways allow a law enforcement officer the ability to provide police services to an area not accessible to the ‘normal’ police vehicle. The use if these alternative vehicles can also be used as a tool to enhance community policing in the agencies community. As the vehicles are different than what the public expects, it provides an opening for dialog between officers and the citizens of the community. Being different also allows officers to approach suspects in criminal activity before the suspects realize the vehicle approaching carries an officer.


Police Patrol, Bicycles, Police vehicles, All terrain vehicles