CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Charleston Town Center security guards are ready to roll.
The mall is about to get a second T3 Patroller electric standup vehicle to help guards patrol the parking garages that flank the shopping mecca.
The mall has owned one of the battery-powered vehicles - sort of a three-wheeled version of a Segway - since October 2011, but its use has been limited.
Officials hope to use the second vehicle, which is due to arrive in a couple of weeks, to boost the security presence at the mall.
"We hope to have one on each side in both garages," said Dennis Lewis, director of mall security.
The T3 Patroller gives guards a quick, easy-to-maneuver way to patrol the six levels of the parking garages.
The unit features lights and a siren, and its one-horsepower motor can move at up to 20 mph.
Lewis said that's a bit much for confined spaces.
"We don't operate it that fast, but it could go that fast," he said.
Guards will patrol at a comfortable 8 mph once the second vehicle arrives.
Lewis said the T3 vehicle, which costs about $10,000, gives officers enough of a height boost to see over most cars and trucks.
The vehicle is an eye-catcher as officers glide through the garages.
"It creates a very visible presence," he said. "When you see it, it just grabs your attention.
"We can see people better, people can see us better, so it enhances the security presence of the mall," he said.
While the main job of a mall security
officer is to look out for suspicious behavior, marketing director Lisa McCracken said officers spend much of their time helping customers who can't quite remember where they parked.