Springfield Police picks Chevy Caprice for future patrol car
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (KMTR) - The Springfield Police Department (SPD) is about to usher in a new era on the road with the purchase of a new generation of police cars.
The department just purchased five new all-black Chevrolet Caprice patrol vehicles to replace its fleet of Ford Crown Victorias. The units have not been put service yet, but should hit the road by September 2012.
The Crown Victoria is no longer being produced, so SPD had to pick a new vehicle from three options: the Chevrolet Caprice, the Dodge Charger and the new Ford Police Patrol Vehicle, which is a reformulated Taurus. The Caprice came out on top with the help of several student interns from the University of Oregon and LCC.
The vehicle is specifically designed for police use. Inside, the seats have a cut-out for the officers' utility belts. As for performance, SPD reports the car has stiffer suspension, electronic stability control and enormous vented disc brakes, all of which add up to a more responsive vehicle.
Ultimately, Springfield Police says it hopes the Caprice will make the travel part of their officers' jobs much easier.
“They just did a lot of good research into this," explained Sergeant John Umenhofer with the Springfield Police Department. “Our test driving has been fantastic on it. For a day-to-day usage car, for what we do and responding to emergencies, it's really an improvement over [other] cars.”
Springfield will pay about $26,000 for each unit, which is a little more than what was paid for the Crown Victorias. However, SPD says the price is comparable to theother patrol vehicle options. The department budgets funds for about five new police units every year; the cars are replaced every 120,000 miles.
There are some cost-savings with these new cars, according to Sergeant Umenhofer. The new Caprice is covered under warranty for 100,000 miles. The department is planning on using decals instead of paint to mark the cars and interior equipment will be recycled and retrofitted as much as possible.
As for Eugene Police, the department is faced with a similar situation in replacing Ford's Crown Victoria. The department is currently testing three options. Read NewsSource 16's original story about the cars at the following link: http://www.kmtr.com/news/local/story/Eugene-Police-adds-new-Chevy-Caprice-to-patrol/xTQEutK5kUaDLNzV8Yc3mQ.cspx.