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Richmond County sheriff's office zeroes in on new police car

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Finding a replacement for the much loved Crown Victoria police car was a troubling thought, but the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office thinks it has found a winner.

Technician Chad Binning looks under the hood of a Crown Victoria. Ford is discontinuing the Crown Victoria after this year, and Richmond County will start using its Police Interceptor.    Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Technician Chad Binning looks under the hood of a Crown Victoria. Ford is discontinuing the Crown Victoria after this year, and Richmond County will start using its Police Interceptor.


Ford announced that the popular police vehicle model would no longer be produced after 2011. Law enforcement across the country was left to choose a new car that could keep officers safe.

Three options are said to be popular: the Dodge Charger Pursuit, the Chevrolet Caprice Police Pursuit Vehicle or Ford’s replacement option, the Police Interceptor.

Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay flew to Indianapolis in August to test the new Ford model.

“After driving all three, I was very much impressed with the new (Ford) Police Interceptor,” Gay said.

He was able to drive the new interceptor and the 2011 Crown Victoria on a city and country track and a drag strip.

“In all three courses, the Police Interceptor outperformed the other vehicles, hands down.”

One of the main selling points for Richmond County was fuel savings. The new model will provide 30 percent more miles per hour without losing horsepower and a 40 percent improvement on idle time.

“There’s a lot more bells and whistles that weren’t available before,” Gay said.

One of the changes that will be an asset is the move of the emergency light control from the dash to the steering wheel in an effort to keep an officer’s hands on the wheel as much as possible, he said.

Although the model might appear smaller, Gay said the interior is about equal to the Crown Victoria. Space was taken from the trunk and engine compartments.

The interior in the Charger, however, was much smaller.

The Caprice “priced itself out” of the equation, Fleet Manager Ron Crowden said.

Richmond County paid $27,000 for a fully outfitted Crown Victoria in 2010.

The Charger has been estimated at $24,000 and the Caprice at $28,000, both before emergency equipment, which can cost up to $4,000.

Although pricing is not definite for the Ford yet, Gay said it will be comparable to the Crown Victorias.

Richmond County receives funding for 40 new vehicles each year. Crowden said the new models will not hit the highway locally until sometime next year.

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office has not yet made a decision on its replacement patrol vehicle.

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office has not made an official decision at this time.

However, “the Chevrolet Tahoe with the pursuit package is being considered a strong contender due to its safety rating, storage area and similar fuel economy to the Crown Victoria,” Capt. Troy Elwell said in an e-mail Wednesday.

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Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 09/15/11 - 09:43 am
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Since most of the cars are

Since most of the cars are going to be used as roadblocks, battering rams, and small arms fire cover we all have to wonder why we want to put brand new $30,000 cars in harms way? N. Augusta got ONE intimidator to reward their top cop and uses their Crown Vics for REAL police work. Our money would be much better spent retrofitting the cars we have with updated equipment and use the million-5 saved to pay the men a living wage. New cars are nice but the cop on the street can't pay their bills with them, and that is what they need. Not one single car we have can stop a running car without wrecking a $30,000. investment. Currently ONE stolen truck can wipe out OVER 1 million dollars in cop cars and bystander property and kill multiple tax payers. No police dept around here has a single thing in their fleet that can stop ONE hijacked truck. If they really want to invest in stopping a hijacked truck, it can be done much more strategically not just put on a fashion show.

daphne3520
950
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daphne3520 09/15/11 - 10:11 am
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Yawn.....
Unpublished

Yawn.....

bubbasauce
22911
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bubbasauce 09/15/11 - 11:15 am
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That's just what Augusta

That's just what Augusta needs, new cars every few years. I really don't get it. Just like the utilities department who thinks they need new cars every two or three years. Wonder why Augusta is broke? They think they are in Washington, D.C. with all them crooks also. I was riding by the new library yesterday and just happened to notice three libraries, the 1st one, the 2nd one that replaced the 1st one, then the brand new 3rd one across the street. That's just a great sight to see! Augusta is really great at spending money they don't have.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 09/15/11 - 01:29 pm
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0
We would be all in favor of a

We would be all in favor of a brand new fleet of cars ONCE cops that are putting their life on the line EARN A LIVING wage.

unbiased_propaganda
165
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unbiased_propaganda 09/15/11 - 01:46 pm
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I couldn't agree more with

I couldn't agree more with both crime and bubba. That is way too much money spent on cars.

And bubbasauce - it's 40 new cars EVERY year...not every few. That's over $1 million/year if they were paying what they did for the Crown Vics.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 09/15/11 - 04:36 pm
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SPLOST money... it flows like

SPLOST money... it flows like water.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 09/15/11 - 05:03 pm
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I wonder if they are ordering

I wonder if they are ordering the vanilla ones or the turbo ones. I have been reading up on the new interceptor, based off a Taurus. Looks like Ford designed them so all the old equipment will bolt up good as new. Im betting my ASE certifications they dont last as well as the old Vics.

silverstar
8
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silverstar 09/15/11 - 08:34 pm
0
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I think they should spend a

I think they should spend a little money on the bikes. They can cruise downtown,much better. The steth of the bike might drive some of the crime from there. It would also coul be used in the housing projets. Glad they picked a Ford. They will always be in business to fix them, unlike GM cars. Would love to drive one.

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