The description of the LAPD’s new pilot project sounds more like a cat.
It’s black, quiet and able to sneak up behind people without them noticing.
But the department isn’t expanding its animal division, instead they’ve recently purchased a Zero MMX, a specially built military-grade electric motorcycle.
The bike is currently being used by the LAPD off-road unit, which patrols mountain terrain and other locations not accessible to police vehicles or trucks, said Sgt. Rob Alberca, the officer in charge of the unit.
Currently the department only has one bike, but if it proves to be a success, more will be ordered.
The MMX runs for around $15,000, but Alberca said their bike was purchased with grant money from the California State Park’s Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program. He said it is cheaper to maintain than a normal motorcycle.
According to the manufacturer the motorcycle’s all-electric power train means that it costs less than a dollar to charge.
Such electric bikes are already used by a growing number of police departments across the country, from New York to Oregon, and around the world, including in Bogota, Colombia and Hong Kong.