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And it only cost us $5,400

Campus police at the University of Montana say they're readier than ever to deal with whatever enforcement problems the 2006-07 academic year may bring. How so? Well, because of the latest addition to their motor pool , which will whisk the cops almost anywhere they need to go much faster than they could get there on foot. New patrol car, huh? No, but it does roll and, in the words of Ken Willett, the director of public safety at the 156-acre school, "it's cooler than cool." If you haven't guessed, the vehicle is a Segway Human Transporter, the two-wheeled, electric-powered scooter that is operated by a combination of balance and body movement. To make it go at speeds up of 12.5 m.p.h. , one leans forward. To stop, the rider must lean back. Initially, it will be used mainly for traffic enforcement and writing parking tickets. "If it did nothing more than look strange," Willett said, "it changes the image of ticket-writers. It's a lot friendlier, and the oddity of it makes for conversation." No word on whether the machine itself will be parked in winter. But it has no heater and there's no roof over the operator. Meanwhile, the average temperature in December and January at the Missoula school is 16 degrees F. and normal yearly snowfall is 54.8 inches.


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