IPC International is an industry leader in shopping center public safety services. With almost 30 years of experience and more than 400 centers in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Great Britain, IPC is an industry barometer. So when IPC announced its security patrol program for the Segway Human Transporter (HT), it was regarded as a major innovation for the industry.
According to Jade Hirt of IPC, the company was looking for a way to enhance the visibility of its officers while aiding patrol techniques and mobility. Prior to the introduction of the Segway HT, Hirt’s options were limited to bicycles, golf carts and a motorized bicycle/cart type vehicle.
“For some time we had been looking for a mode of transportation that was more maneuverable and center-friendly than a golf cart for patrol duties inside and outside shopping malls,” recalled Hirt. With the availability of the Segway HT, IPC proceeded to develop a three-month security patrol beta test of this newly introduced technology.
“One of our clients had also been looking at Segway HTs and requested the beta test take place at one of their centers,” stated Hirt. To initiate the trial, Segway Inc. representatives trained key IPC management and security personnel in a full-day seminar. The timing of IPC’s beta test was established to coincide with the busy Christmas shopping season at one of the largest malls in North America. During the beta test IPC evaluated every facet of Segway HT operation as well as its acceptance by the center’s security officers, tenants and customers. This test allowed IPC to thoroughly study the Segway HT in real world conditions, examining how officers would be able to maneuver through the crowds, stop safely, and see over large areas like a food court. The results of the test confirmed that Segway HTs were a viable and safe security option for the shopping center environment.
Going beyond the improvement in response time, IPC looked at what officers actually did, and how they were able to perform their duties. The company’s findings concluded that virtually every officer saw an increase in their capabilities while on patrol on a Segway.