Posted by KGO-TV July 23, 2013.
By Jonathan Bloom
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — Their patrol cars may be black and white, but at one local police department the newest addition to the fleet is all about being green. As ABC7 News found out saving the planet can have some advantages when it comes to fighting crime.
They are in fact the quietest police motorcycles you’ve ever seen and about the only noise they make is from their police siren. For police at San Jose State University, they may be the best tool yet for curbing crime on campus.
“It’s smaller, it’s more maneuverable, and its deathly quiet. So we can approach people, we can get up into situations quicker and easier,” said San Jose State Police Capt. Alan Cavallo.
Cavallo was a motorcycle sergeant for San Jose, hired to start a motor unit at San Jose State. He could have gone with the bikes he knew and loved, but instead, he went with all-electric zero motorcycles, made right up the road in Scotts Valley. The model they have goes up to 75 miles an hour and gets more than enough range for a 12-hour shift. The officers aren’t complaining.
“They get up and they move and they move just like any other motorcycle, especially in Downtown or making car stops. I mean, we can get through traffic quite quickly and we can get up and going when we need to,” said San Jose State University Police Ofc. Paul Marshall.
These bikes may be awfully quiet, but they still attract a lot of attention. And police say it’s exactly the kind of attention they’re looking for. Everywhere they go someone has a question about their new rides.
“My favorite thing about this is actually interacting with the public and answering questions when people come up and they are in disbelief that there is an electric motorcycle, most people have not seen one,” said Marshall.
And criminals may not see one until it’s too late.
“We do from time to time have crimes that occur in the parking garages. The guys can get on the motorcycles, they can sneak up on people, they’re not going to be seen or heard,” said Cavallo.
If you’re a car burglar, the cops just broke up your party.