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APD updating patrol car fleet

AMARILLO - A big change is underway for Amarillo Police.

"They've been used to the Crown Vic for you know, for the majority of officers, their entire career," said Amarillo Police Lieutenant Mike Miller.

The entire fleet of patrol vehicles will soon transition to the new Ford Police Interceptors.

The Crown Victoria has been the standard for police departments across the country for the last 20 years. But since Ford quit making them, they've moved on to a new, sleeker version made especially for police.

APD currently has three 2012 Ford Police Interceptors on the road and 12 more are coming within a month.

They have all the aspects of the Crown Victoria that officers liked, plus 300 new details designed to make the job easier and more efficient.

"it pretty much does everything and more," Miller said. "What Ford did is they basically looked at a lot of different aspects that the Crown Vic had, but how they could improve it, and this was their version of that."

The new vehicles have V-6 engines, which gets better gas mileage. But they can still go much faster that the C-8 Crown Victorias, and they're safer as well.

"This vehicle will take a 75 miles per hour rear impact crash rating. It can take a curb at 40 miles per hour without any type of damage to the rims or wheels," Miller said.
    
The only complaint officers have is the space. Something that APD thinks officers are willing to sacrifice for a car better built for their needs.

"The more they drive them, the more they like them," Miller said.
 
The new patrol cars come with a $50,000 price tag for tax payers, about $30,000 for the car itself, and the rest for the equipment installed inside the vehicle.
 
"This is a better built police car, it's built for safety, for durability, for quickness," said Miller. "It's an all wheel drive vehicle, has very little body roll, has things built into the vehicle to keep it from doing that. Braking is better, acceleration is better."
 
APD test drove Dodge Chargers and Chevy Caprices before deciding the Ford Police Interceptor best suited their needs. The APD fleet does include two Chargers, but Miller says nobody likes to drive them.

 

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