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Gas Prices Prompt Cities to Consider Smaller Police Cars

May 18, 2006

The city of Jacksonville, FL has almost spent its fuel budget for the year with a full five months left to go, reports the First Coast News. To help ease the gas pains, Sam Houston, the city's fleet director, has convinced the police department to switch from Ford Crown Victorias to Chevrolet Impalas, which are cheaper and more fuel efficient. He's also trying to get city employees who drive big SUV's like Chevy Tahoes to switch to smaller ones, the report stated. The police department in Decatur, Ala., is requesting 10 cars with six-cylinder engines to replace part of its aging fleet, the Decatur Daily reports. The department would continue using eight-cylinder engines for patrol cars, while the six-cylinder vehicles would be used for investigators.In Raleigh, N.C., there are more than 600 vehicles in the police fleet, which cost the city more than $1.4 million to fuel this year, reports. Most of those vehicles are V-8 Crown Victoria patrol cars, which will remain in the fleet. Unmarked Crown Victorias will be phased out, as the city does not see the need for detectives to be using vehicles with heavy alternators and large engines. The Crown Vics will be replaced with the V-6 Pontiac Grand Prix and Ford 500. The city just placed orders for 22 new unmarked cars, each between $3,000 and $5,000 less than the Crown Victoria. The department is also considering a switch from the Crown Victoria as a patrol vehicle, though they haven't found a model they like yet, reports.
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