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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mayor and police chief request public opinion on new car style

APD is considering retiring it's red, white, and blue fleet of Crown Victoria's for a sportier new black and white Dodge Charger and wants public input. People are encouraged to visit and vote on the two designs. The new prototype was revealed at a press conference hosted by Mayor Berry and APD today, Nov. 30, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. in Albuquerque's Civic Plaza. According to Chief Ray Schultz, Ford will cease production of the Crown Victoria Police Cruiser at the end of 2011. This prompted APD to look at new style and a new color scheme. The City has been using the current model, color scheme, and graphics since 1994.
"The black and white design would allow for more consistency (in style) with BCSD and State Trooper cars," stated Schultz. The chief also claims that the new "look" would make it easier for people to identify law enforcement vehicles when officers pull up behind them. APD has also considered the Ford Taurus to replace fleet vehicles. However, design issues were found with the interior of the car.
The Charger has a full sized spare tire in the trunk area of the car which enables officers to change a flat tire and continue using the car throughout their shift instead of having to leave it at the garage. Chief Schultz also heralded to ease of cleaning out the back of the cars when people (who are detained) have "accidents".
"The rear containment module is completely self contained. Police officers can easily hose out the back of the car,".
According to Schultz, the Dodge Chargers are also cheaper than the traditional Crown Victoria's. Prices of the new cars were not discussed at the press conference. The City expects to purchase approximately 60 new cars with Capital Improvements Plan funding to replace existing fleet cars in 2012. The majority of the cars will be marked vehicles.
Additional Comment:
When asked by The Burque Blotter if a GPS tracking system would be installed in the new vehicles Schultz replied, "No, but with our ongoing efforts to keep up with technology eventually they will be,". In my humble opinion  all government vehicles should have GPS tracking installed to keep track of employee use. Recent discoveries of misuse of city vehicles have been documented in the media. Therefore, it is imperative that APD utilize GPS tracking devices in all of it's vehicles as part of it's "Smart Policing Policy".

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