Vermont State Police retire last Ford Crown Victoria cruiser
The green and gold Ford Crown Victoria cruisers have patrolled Vermont roads for more than 20 years. Friday, the last Vermont State Police Crown Vic parked for the final time.
"I mean whenever you think of having a police vehicle, at least from when I was a child, this is what you picture," Vt. State Tpr. Vienna Valenti said.
Valenti was one of the last troopers to call a Crown Vic her ride.
"It's a fun car," she said. "It's a little scary in the wintertime."
She only had the two-wheel-drive car for four months in the winter and that was more than enough for her.
"I think I was one of the only troopers that got the car towed out of my driveway but it was fun the entire time," Valenti said.
The first Crown Vic for the Vermont State Police hit the road in 1997. At one point, all 235 marked vehicles were just like it. Valenti's is the last one. Today, most of the remaining marked state police cruisers are SUVS. In a few years when the remaining sedans hit 100,000 miles, all vehicles will be the larger four-wheel drive SUVS.
"It is an end of an era," David Tifft said. "It was a great car for its time."
At his garage in Colchester, Tifft maintains all the state police cars you see on the road. When it comes to the Crown Vic, he has good memories.
"It's an old reliable work horse," Tifft said.
But he knows they weren't the best for those harsh Vermont winters.
"Getting around in the snow, especially on the interstate... back roads," Tifft said. "It did make it a little bit more difficult with rear-wheel drive."
A reason he is happy to see the troopers like Valenti safer in the SUVS. Valenti agrees, as she eyes a new ride.
"I'm getting a brand new cruiser and today will be my first day driving that!" she said.
The last Crown Vic will be auctioned off in May. More than just a car, it's a piece of Vermont history.