So, whatcha gonna do when they come for you . . . on the Diggler?
The AC Police Department recently added a diminutive conveyance to its Washington Street fleet, an electronically powered Diggler, a model of unassuming efficiency.
Suddenly the boys in blue are saving greenbacks, “going green,” and wearing eye-catching green vests as they patrol pedestrian areas, buildings and parking areas more optimally than ever aboard the new two-wheeler.
Do not be fooled by the scooter’s recreational appearance. The little rascal weighs in at only about 100 pounds, but it is propelled by a 48-volt, 750-watt motor and tops out at a fumes-free speed of 35 mph—plenty more than enough for pedestrian-heavy traffic areas.
Even better, the Diggler can travel 20 miles on approximately 15 cents worth of electrical infusion.
It’s sure enough easy to dig the Diggler.
“The cops love to ride it. It’s kind of like snowboarding,” Mike Duval, chief of AC police, said. “It is saving a lot of fuel and a lot of wear and tear on our other vehicles. It can get our officers almost anywhere very quickly, and it’s easy to operate.
“We can cover a lot more ground, visit many more places during a shift than we used to. It has been a real asset.”
Duval said the ACPD had long sought an alternative means of transporting officers throughout campus. Bicycles have been tried without much success, he said, and the self-balancing Segway received mixed revues here. Then the chief came across an article about the Diggler and started contacting departments similar to his that employ it.
“Every police department I spoke with gave the Diggler glowing reports,” he said. “They said it is economical, it has no mechanical issues, the public loves it, and they said nobody out-runs it.
“It bridges the gap between the old foot-patrol concept and a motorized officer. We decided to get one.”
The $2,800 Diggler arrived at AC in late August. Patrolmen have been using it to great advantage ever since, especially in the parking lots because the Diggler easily fits between most parked vehicles. It can also be used indoors and off road.
“We can check our lots thoroughly, keep them safer than ever,” Sgt. Steve Chance said. “Our response times are faster. You can even ride a Diggler down a set of stairs. I believe it has already paid for itself.”
The savings have been such that Chief Duval envisions another Diggler in AC’s future, one for the West Campus.
“If our budget allows for it, that’s what we plan to do,” he said.