BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) - School resource officers in Bellevue have found a new way to gain the trust and attention of the students they protect. Hovering the hallways is the idea of Sergeant Howard Banks who believes the swagway hoverboard puts a different spin on how kids perceive a uniformed officer.
"It helps us build relationships with the kids, like I said kids we normally wouldn't talk to in school, they now have a reason to come up to us," said Banks.
The hoverboard patrol has students like Kerrigan Hall talking between classes. She said, "it’s really fun and it’s really a hoot when they come in the halls."
The hoverboards give students a reason to envy police too.
"I'm kind of upset they won't let me ride. But I can't so I have to suck it up and I'll get one," said student Bryson Gantt.
The resource officers aren't just hovering in the halls of school to look cool. Judging by the steps recorded on his fit bit, Officer Sean Vest believes the swagway saved him 3-4 miles of walking a day.
Vest said he's done his homework on the fire safety record of this hoverboard brand.
“When you properly maintain the battery you shouldn’t have any issues,” said Vest
The hover boards provide quicker response by the officers for example at the end of a tense basketball game.
"On this we can get their quicker and when we get there we won't be tired and have enough energy to take the appropriate action we need to," said Banks.
Bellevue Police School resource officers say hoverboards take them back to the future not only by improving communication with students but providing a quicker response should their help be needed. The cost of the swagway hoverboard is about $400, but taxpayers didn’t pay a dime; The resource officers bought them out of their own pockets.