Gas Mileage Not a Concern for New Police SUVs

5 years 1 week 4 days ago Friday, November 30 2012 Nov 30, 2012 Friday, November 30, 2012 7:26:00 AM CST November 30, 2012 in News
By: Rachel Path

COLUMBIA - Police agencies in Columbia continue to test vehicles to add to their fleets since the Ford discontinued it's Crown Victoria sedan model. 

The Columbia Police Department purchased 19 Chevy Tahoes and the MU Police Department has added two 2013 Ford Police Interceptors to its group of vehicles.

The Boone County Sheriff's Department is currently testing a variety of vehicles to add to it's fleet including Dodge Chargers, Chevrolet Caprices and Tahoes, and both the SUV and sedan models of Ford's Police Interceptors. "We have found that most of the vehicles we are trying out have done well.  It is just trying to decide what is going to be a better fit for our agency," said Sergeant Brian Leer.

Leer believes there are many advantages to having SUVs in the fleet.  He says there is more room inside the vehicle for equipment and for DWI officers to do breath tests.  The new police interceptor utility vehicle even has all wheel drive for the Missouri winters. 

The MU Police Department recently added two of these SUVs to its group of vehicles.  The fleet manager at Joe Machens Lincoln Ford in Columbia Kelly Sells says the 2013 Ford Police Interceptor actually has better fuel economy than the Crown Victoria.

"The fuel economy is a lot better than what most would think of when they think of an SUV.  Most people automatically think poor fuel economy," said Leer.

Sells says the Police Interceptor gets 16 miles per gallon in the city and 21 on the highway while the old Crown Victoria got 14 miles per gallon in the city and 21 on the highway. However, Leer says that what manufacturers publish is different from reality.  "What we'll get will be closer to the city mileage," Leer said.

Leer said there are aspects of the job that need to be taken into consideration with fuel usage.  When they stop a motorist roadside and start talking to them, the vehicle's engine is running for 15 or 20 minutes, which doesn't take long to add up.

"It's just the nature of the business," Leer says.

Leer says the department will not be deciding on vehicles until next year and will continue to testing them.

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