Picture a police vehicle and you likely envision a Ford Crown Victoria. Painted logo, mounted lights. But in the crowds outside the Republican National Convention, those bulky vehicles make little sense. For nimble maneuvers downtown, Tampa police will employ four unusual vehicles, paid for with some of the $50 million grant from the U.S. Justice Department. Here's a look at what you will see this August.
How many? Seven
Total cost: $44,379
Segways are a given at large events. Tampa authorities have used them at Gasparilla parades and at the Super Bowl in 2009. At the NATO summit in Chicago, officers used them to try to stay ahead of the marching protesters.
How many? Five
Total cost: $44,940
These glossy, white electric vehicles are similar but more stable than two-wheeled Segways. Still, its chariot style offers mobility. The T3 Motions can make a 360-degree turn in place.
Bobcat 4x4 utility vehicles
How many? 13
Total cost: $150,730
This gas-powered vehicle looks like a heavy-duty golf cart. It can carry several officers, and Tampa police are adding cages on the back to transport police dogs and equipment.
How many? 200
Total cost: $319,400
The Kona bikes have been built especially for police use, with sturdy frames, ergonomic handlebars, lights, sirens, special shocks, a battery pack, larger tires and a pack on the back to hold paperwork and a first-aid kit.
Police have also bought one Lenco BearCat, a 16,000-pound armored SWAT truck used by military and police during tactical operations. Though more lightweight than other armored vehicles, they can take gunfire and protect officers. The BearCat is not used for patrol or crowd control, Tampa police say. Total cost: $272,904.
By Jessica Vander Velde, Times staff writer. Photos by Skip O'Rourke and Kathleen Flynn, Times staff photographers, and by Segway and Lenco