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LAPD beefs up green force by testing electric motorcyles

An avid motocross racer, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck makes an entrance into the Police Museum on a fully-electric motorcycle.

If considered feasible, the Los Angeles Police Department may add a line of electric motorcycles to its patrol units in a proactive effort to become more eco-responsible.

Under the direction of Police Chief Charlie Beck, the LAPD is now testing the likelihood of including plug-in electric bikes to its current fleet of 400 gas-powered motorcycles.

According to CBS News, the department has been examining two types of the police variants, including the $24,995 "Empulse LE" by Oregon's Brammo, Inc., and the $17,945 "DS" by Zero Motorcycles, a California-based manufacturer.

Although electric bikes may not be able to participate in any of L.A.'s frequent car chases, they could prove beneficial in areas around town that attract large groups of locals and tourists.

At present, a growing number of the nation's police departments are utilizing the effectiveness of electric motorcycles to combat pollution, hold the line on fuel costs and keep pace with evolving technology.

Sgt. Dan Gomez, who is managing LAPD's incorporation of new and emerging technology, said the testing is in keeping with the department's ongoing drive to explore energy-efficient alternatives.

The LAPD has already adopted hybrid vehicles for some of its command staff cars and three-wheeled electric vehicles to help safeguard such crowd-attracting locales as downtown's Staples Center.

Follow Sharon at CBS Los Angeles.

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