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The Streets (and Seas) of San Francisco: SF police department debuts new quadski
Author: Randall D. Larson
Image from news report at http://www.autoevolution.com (click on photo for link)
The San Francisco Police department had a new specialty vehicle in their fleet roster: an ATV that converts to a jetski and can traverse across land and sea – a valuable vehicle to have in a city surrounded on three sides by water.
The vehicle, one of three such units the city acquired last October, cost a reported $50,000 each – but taxpayers need not worry – the quadski was a gift, donated from Marc Benioff, the CEO of San Francisco-based Salesforce, a cloud computing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) company.
Prompting favorable comparisons to Batman, James Bond, and Robocop, the department’s new hydrobike was shown to the public by officers from SFPD’s Marine Unit during a June 26 SF Giants baseball game. Accompanied by officers on two normal jetskis, the quadski was driven into McCovey Cove, in San Francisco Bay just outside the baseball stadium, where it transformed into a jetski. It quickly gained attention from Giants announcers in the arena; one of them said “"I gotta believe he's the luckiest guy on the force, right there, riding that thing. I want to be that guy!” The sighting was broadcast on a news report on ABC7 News.
While the website Gizmodo, in their report on the agency's latest vehicular acquisition, asked “Beyond the flash-factor, is something like this really necessary for SFPD? Like how many times has a suspected criminal gave chase on a motorcycle through city streets then ditched the bike and leapt into a boat?” – and then answered their own question, remarking “Although baseball does brings out the crazy in people and maybe, just maybe, a cop would need to act so quickly to save a life he wouldn’t have time to switch vehicles. Just the other day a guy jumped off the stadium concourse into the water to catch a home run ball. No one was hurt, but the quadski might have dramatically rescued him...”
- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via various reports on the Internet, 7/28/15)