Acadiana High resource officer touts faster response across large campus
SCOTT — School resource officer foot patrols on the sprawling campus of Acadiana High School are a little easier with a new, three-wheeled vehicle called a Trikke.
The Trikke is a compact vehicle, similar to an oversized electric, upright scooter but with three wheels rather than two and two, long foot boards for an officer to stand on as he rides the vehicle. The Scott Police Department purchased the new vehicle a few months ago through a $3,500 donation from Lafayette CrimeStoppers.
“Acadiana High is a stretched out campus — about a quarter of a mile — and has approximately 1,700 kids and 200 staff. If I had to respond to a situation in the school during a foot patrol of the stadium, that’s a long run,” Scott Police Officer Caleb Legé said. “Now, I can get to a situation faster.”
Legé said the vehicle enabled him to quickly respond to a recent medical situation on campus.
“I was directing traffic on one end of the parking lot and a woman in the car line passed out. I was able to respond in little time,” he said.
Acadiana High Principal David LeJeune said the vehicle allows Legé to cover more ground during the day.
“It helps with the overall security of the campus and it also allows us to cover the outlying areas of the campus more quickly,” LeJeune said.
The police department had explored purchasing other vehicles, such as a Segway or a three-wheeled chariot-style vehicle, but ruled out those models because they didn’t adapt well to the campus, Scott Police Chief Chad Leger said.
With the Segway, the officer must balance on the vehicle — which could present a safety hazard if an officer rolls up on a student incident and a student attempts to grab the handles of the vehicle, Leger said.
The chariot-style vehicle was too wide to navigate through the school’s doorways, he said.
“This is a very flexible vehicle,” Leger said of the Trikke. “It collapses down and you can put it in the back seat or the trunk of a car.”
CrimeStoppers logos and the tip hotline: 232-TIPS decorate the vehicle. The CrimeStoppers program is in all high and middle schools, and school resource officers encourage students to report incidents on campus.
“It makes the officer more mobile, and we thought it would be a good opportunity to involve ourselves in the schools more,” said Lafayette Police Cpl. Paul Mouton, CrimeStoppers spokesman.