The Turlock Police Department’s newest green vehicles look more like something out of a science fiction movie than what is typically seen on Main Street.
The department is the newest agency to try out the Trikke Carving Vehicles, a three-wheel electric powered personal transportation device — almost like a hybrid of a bicycle, scooter and skateboard, with a tripod thrown in as well.
Trikkes are quick-moving and capable of being folded down and fit into the trunk of a car. They are battery powered and controlled by the operators’ movement.
“It is not a passive ride,” said Trikke representative Laura Boné. “It works off of body power, like downhill skiing.”
The Turlock Police Department obtained the four Trikkes through a grant from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, which covered the more than $18,000 necessary to purchase the devices and outfit them with lights and sirens.
The Trikkes offer easy mobility through crowds and greater visibility, since it raises the user several inches above the ground, said Turlock Police Chief Robert Jackson.
The department plans on deploying the Trikkes during the upcoming busy shopping season and at festivals and parades. The department had its first test run of the Trikkes on Friday during Turlock High School’s homecoming parade through downtown Turlock.
“We’re looking forward to using them in situations where we need greater mobility and visibility,” Jackson said.