A couple of days ago at a popular provincial park beach south of Belleville, Ontario, I saw for the first time police officers, in otherwise standard attire, riding along the edge of the beach on Segway bikes. It appears that I was far from alone insofar as this being a revelation, or at least a familiar site, as I witnessed a number of people having animated interchanges with the two officers (male and female), including an officer posing for a picture on the upright bike.
I hadn’t been to this long, beautiful beach in a few years, so I don’t know how unique or avant-guard was the Segway appearance there. Certainly, given the vast expanse of Sandbanks’ shoreline, this is a practical way to the officers to notice and be noticed obtrusively,
One wonders, if the police can use Segways on beaches, what other adaptations of technology might we expect to see soon in public service interactions…
- The Mayor will not bother to physically go to community events, hologram images will be sent with printable autographed pictures
- The head of urban road maintenance will be able to reduce the number of workers standing around repair sites due to sending workers in driverless trucks
- The head of urban infrastructure planning can send out 3D pdf files, which can be enlarged to physically cover site exteriors where building is delayed by contractual or performance issues
- Bylaw enforcement officers can use robots to place tickets on windshields, thus reducing confrontations (at least with themselves)
- Animal control officers can leave animated versions of dogs and cats to deflect criticism of the harsh actions they might find themselves taking
- City councillors can use budget allowances to add eclectic bells & whistles, showering projects which should not have proceeded past committee study stage
- Health inspectors can take advantage of cultural diversity to take samples preserved in eye-appealing containers, under the guise of checking for spoilage
- Media relations spokespersons can multitask through the ever-changing face of social media to literally send mixed messages
- Parks and recreation staff can internally coordinate site alteration plans while implementing them without the messy delay of public consultations
- Environmental service officers can expand the rainbow of plastic containers so that recycled materials never have to colour clash
Whether using techno gadgets, or taking advantage of the speed of interconnected cyberspace, those in positions of public influence can stay one up on the populations at large.
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