CLEARFIELD -- The T3 isn't a C-3P0 or an R2-D2, but the quiet machine is a favorite with Clearfield police and the community.
"People in their yards will flag you down, even the (gang members)," said Clearfield Police Sgt. Kyle Jeffries.
The T3 is a three-wheel electric-powered vehicle that zooms quietly along the city's trails and streets. It reaches a top speed of 20 mph and runs for two hours before needing to be recharged.
The T3 is designed to enhance patrols, to save driver energy and increase response times versus officers using a bicycle. Officers stand on it like on a scooter.
The vehicle is a good public relations tool that allows those who "usually give us the finger," to wave with all five and to ask questions about the bike, Jeffries said.
"It just makes it easier for them to talk to you," Jeffries said.
Jeffries said the first couple of times he was flagged down by those who appeared to be gang members, "I was shocked," but he looks forward to talking to them each time he is out on the machine.
It's common for those on the trails or in a park to ask the officer to stop so they can take a photo. The department bought the vehicle a year ago from T3 Motion, with a $9,000 Justice Assistance Grant, said Assistant Police Chief Mike Stenquist.
"We didn't use it too much last year, but plan to use it more this year," Stenquist said.
Many of the officers are trained to ride the vehicle. All are required to wear a helmet, just like officers on bike patrol.
Stenquist said the vehicle will be used to patrol the city's walking trails and parks, as well as be seen at special events, like the Fourth of July celebration and block parties.
It's so quiet that teenagers have been caught in the act of consuming alcohol, inhaling cigarettes or "smoking some weed," along the trails, Jeffries said.
And most motorists don't notice it parked on a subdivision street while the officer is holding a radar gun.
Not far from the officer with a radar gun is a patrol car to give chase, just in case the motorist ignores the flashing lights and siren of the little vehicle, which does not happen often.
Jeffries said it's because when they see the flashing lights and hear the siren, they're curious and pull over to find out what the machine is, even though they were caught speeding.