Posted by dinouye November 12, 2013 05:01 PM
The Quincy Police Department will be riding in style with the recent purchase of $200,000 of updated police cars, replacing half the department’s fleet of cruisers with Ford SUVs.
Spent within the capital budget for fiscal 2014, which began July 1, the funding provided for six of the 2013 Ford Interceptor SUVs, and is a step up for a department that has been using Crown Victoria sedans, even in snowy weather.
“Even during the worst of a blizzard, we have to be out there driving, and these cruisers are certainly going to make a difference in tough conditions,” said Police Chief Paul Keenan, who noted that the new cars are bigger and have four-wheel drive.
Quincy is following in the footsteps of many other communities, including Braintree, Hingham, Milton, and the State Police, in getting the new model cars, Keenan said.
With the Crown Victoria police car being discontinued, the option to upgrade was practically mandatory, Keenan said.
Though the police car model is new to the department, a revolving door of police cars is not. The city replaces half of its fleet every year, stripping down old cars for parts or giving them to school resource officers.
According to Lt. Kevin Tobin, the cruisers are going 24/7, and between officers put the equivalent of 150,000 to 200,000 miles on the cars annually.
The recent totaling of two older police sedans by alleged drunk drivers only heightened the need to replace part of the fleet, Tobin said.
Although the cars cost $4,000 to $5,000 more per car than the older models, Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch said it was a priority to update the fleet to the latest model.
“An up-to-date cruiser fleet is vital for both the safety of our residents and our officers who use them. We made it a priority to make these public safety investments an annual component of our budget, and will continue to do so in coming years,” Koch said.
Tobin noted that the cost per SUV, which runs upwards of $35,000 apiece, will go down as the entire fleet of approximately a dozen cars are replaced with the newer model. Items such as computer stands and cages don’t need updating every year, and can be moved as the fleet changes out.