WESTFIELD, Mass. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS) – Residents have been seeing a new police vehicle around, but they haven’t heard it.
The Zero Motorcycle, a battery-operated vehicle, has been recently put into use by the Westfield Police Department. The motorcycle is unique for more than just being battery-powered however, since it has no exhaust, no emissions and is said to make no sound while running–thus its name. Currently the vehicle is being used for special events and details, but it is expected to become a more common sight around Westfield.
“So far it’s been well-received by the community,” Chief John Camerota said. “People want us to increase the size of the unit.”
For now though, people will have to wait before they see it more regularly. “We’re still, so to speak, testing it to see if it does everything it’s said to do,” Camerota said.
According to Camerota, the vehicle was originally purchased so police could better patrol the Columbia Rail Trail. Additionally, the motorcycle is going to be used for some routine patrols, as well as in parades and to block off certain routes or streets without disturbing people, due to its lack of noise or exhaust.
Camerota said that the vehicle, complete with all police gear and dressings, can go for $20,000 retail, but the department was able to find one for $15,000 from someone who won it in a raffle.
This opened up an opportunity for the department to save money.
And so, because the department was already contemplating buying a Zero Motorcycle and the lower-priced vehicle became available, Camerota and the city council made a decision to purchase the bike through the Police Department’s towing account. The towing account is an account that is funded through the towing of city vehicles by police.
“It’s a special account designed to buy anything needed for our vehicles,” Camerota said. “It’s really for those vehicles not designed in our budget.”
The motorcycle, which can be charged through a conventional three-prong plug outlet, can go up to 112 miles on a single charge and has a top speed of 90 MPH, which Camerota said “we hope to never use.”