The Vermont State Police is sporting a new look on wheels.
The old fleet consisted of Ford Crown Victoria Interceptors. But that model is being eliminated, so the state is now in the process of replacing its entire 330 vehicle fleet -- two-thirds of which are marked vehicles. For the first time all state police cruisers will have all wheel drive, and some of them will be SUVs. "The all-wheel platform is going to offer us a lot more safety, especially on days when it is snowing," said Vt. State police Sgt. Greg Campbell.
The old cruisers cost a little over $23,000. The new Ford Interceptors are more expensive -- about $28,000. But the state police hope to offset those costs because the new cruisers are more fuel efficient. The Crown Victorias averaged between 14 and 21 miles per gallon. The new Fords average between 16 and 23, while the SUVs average 16 to 21 miles per gallon. And the cruisers have a better warranty. "The power train is longer, it is now 100,000 versus 50,000 for the Crown Victoria, so we anticipate less maintenance needed," Sgt. Campbell said.
So far 45 SUVs and 18 sedans have been purchased. The old cruisers will be replaced with the new ones based on the current retirement cycle, which is about five years. "The sedan has a little bit more horse power, but the SUV offers a lot more space and more functionality," Sgt. Campbell said.
At this point the Vermont State Police have not decided the final ratio between the number of SUVS and sedans they plan to purchase. "The feeling we got was the Vermont State Police command staff wanted to continue to have sedans, but as more sedans have been rolled out, especially to our command members, I think there has been a little more buy-in. They understand the benefits of having an SUV, they actually cost a little less than the turbo charged sedan, and I think we may see at least 50-50, if not more leaning towards the utility vehicles," Sgt. Campbell said.
New cruisers to protect Vermont's Green and Gold as they work to protect the state.
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