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Richmond County Sheriff's Office rolling out new patrol cars

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Police cars in Richmond County are getting a new look.

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is starting to replace the familiar Ford Crown Victoria (right) with the Ford Police Interceptor.  ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is starting to replace the familiar Ford Crown Victoria (right) with the Ford Police Interceptor.

Two new Ford Police Inter­ceptor sedans hit the streets Friday, and over the next two months 32 more will follow.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and other police agencies that for years depended on the Ford Crown Victoria were faced with a challenge in 2011 when Ford announced it was being discontinued. Police agencies looked at the Chevrolet Caprice and Impala, the Dodge Charger and the new Ford Police Interceptor as options.

“We couldn’t understand why Ford was doing away with Old Reliable,” Capt. Scott Gay said, but after he drove the new Ford, he understood.

“I’ve never driven anything that handles like this car,” said Larry Williams, the government sales manager at Bobby Jones Ford, who served in law enforcement for 20 years. “It out-handles everything on the road.”

Most departments in the area did not choose the Ford model. Columbia County, Aiken Public Safety and the Georgia State Patrol have selected the Dodge Charger, a car that had already been experimented with in their fleet. North Augusta Public Safety and Burke County will stick with the Crown Victoria a little longer before making a switch.

The new Ford’s gas mileage was a huge deciding factor, Gay said. The rear-wheel-drive Crown Victoria with a V-8 enginegets about 12 miles per gallon. The all-wheel-drive Police Interceptor with a V-6 gets about 20 miles per gallon and has more horsepower.

Although the Police Interceptor looks like the Ford Taurus, it is not a Taurus at all, Williams said; it is the first police vehicle put together from scratch.

The vehicles were expected to be road-ready by June, but parts on back order left cars across the country sitting in lots for months.

The 34 new Richmond County deputies’ cars and five new traffic cars will replace the oldest vehicles in the sheriff’s office’s fleet. The old cars will be stripped of their equipment and go on the government auction block.

The sheriff’s office is asking that the public become familiar with the new model. Its fear is that drivers will see the new cars trying to pull them over and believe it’s someone posing as an officer.

“It looks completely different than the old body style,” Gay said, although the new cars have the same paint scheme and decals.

Someone who questions whether an officer is pulling him over should call 911 immediately and go to a well-lighted area. Police dispatchers will tell the driver whether the person initiating the traffic stop is a Richmond County deputy, Gay said.

Comments (13) Add comment
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soapy_725
43553
Points
soapy_725 08/31/12 - 03:51 pm
0
0
What happend to the $8K per vehicle savings
Unpublished

by eliminating the two tone paint job?

Sweet son
9682
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Sweet son 08/31/12 - 07:49 pm
3
0
Hope the Gas Mileage Pans Out!

Could be a huge savings on gas if the new cars prove to get the mileage that Capt. Gay suggested. Hope the cars turn out to be roadworthy in day to day operations.

SemperParatus
3225
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SemperParatus 08/31/12 - 08:53 pm
3
0
Henry Ford

Henry Ford would be a very happy camper right about now! The difference in miles per gallon is HUGE! Perfect timing given today's skyrocketing fuel prices.

Riverman1
79223
Points
Riverman1 09/01/12 - 06:03 am
2
1
With the election looming,

With the election looming, that headline may be a little off. It appears the word "new" is modifying sheriff and not cars. No big deal...kind of funny if anything.

Drain Bamage
41
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Drain Bamage 09/01/12 - 06:45 am
0
4
New Cars

I only have one thing to say...Good luck with front wheel drive

Sweet son
9682
Points
Sweet son 09/01/12 - 09:47 am
3
0
Maybe Drain should have said.....................

good luck with the all-wheel-drive. Will be interesting anyway..

rcandrews
127
Points
rcandrews 09/01/12 - 10:15 am
0
3
Didn't we just buy them a fleet of new cars not so long ago?

Let me guess, they were like the old license plates we have to turn in for the new ones because the old license plates stopped working?

Little Lamb
43821
Points
Little Lamb 09/01/12 - 10:19 am
1
1
Remain Silent

Just remember, when they pull you over, don't answer any questions. Just say give them your license and say nothing.

nnaugusta
533
Points
nnaugusta 09/01/12 - 10:29 am
0
2
Good grief...At least put the

Good grief...At least put the decals on straight. Flea market graphics? If RC drives the way NAPS does, they'll be getting 10 mpg. No emergencies, just jack rabbit starts and fast corners...!

Drain Bamage
41
Points
Drain Bamage 09/01/12 - 12:45 pm
0
2
Drive Configuration

My mistake...Good luck with All-Wheel Drive...Good luck replacing/repairing those CV joints...

Drain Bamage
41
Points
Drain Bamage 09/01/12 - 12:45 pm
0
1
Drive Configuration

My mistake...Good luck with All-Wheel Drive...Good luck replacing/repairing those CV joints...

gargoyle
13393
Points
gargoyle 09/01/12 - 01:49 pm
2
0
The police Taurus on paper is

The police Taurus on paper is completely different than the consumer model.Hate to see the vic put out to pasture and I can see why iong term maint. costs are a concern after the Crown Vic put up a proven record to compair to . On paper the thing looks bullet proof, Since I'm in the market to get a a new car I might haft to see if they will sell me one.

rcandrews
127
Points
rcandrews 09/01/12 - 04:28 pm
0
2
Wrong argument.

The correct argument here would be not putting so many miles on these vehicles to begin with not how much less fuel they are going to be using.

I am not begrudging our officers a/c and a sound vehicle but I am advocating they stop just driving around town and taking the vehicles home, as in some cases they don’t even live in Richmond County.

They can simply deploy to an area deemed “whatever” and stay parked until they are summoned.

Also I was correct in 2005 we purchased 75 of them. Source: Augusta Fleet Management.

So dislike my comment all you want. I was correct.

Also from Augusta Fleet Management the average Richmond County patrol car averages 15,800 miles a year with the exception for a few that logged over 46k miles in 2005.

Again, this notion we need to send vehicles to drive around “looking” for crime is absurd.

And speaking of sending vehicles around to “patrol” why not deploy bike cops instead of these vehicles if everyone is so “cost conscious”?

One last point, I drive my truck harder than any patrol car and take it off road and where they just junk them or resell them after 70k – 100k miles mine is hitting the 250k mark and still going strong.

So maybe the problem isn’t just the aforementioned but this “maintenance” that is being done is as shoddy as the GADOT’s ability to properly repair a pothole or balance their erroneous budget?

spdermn78
4
Points
spdermn78 09/01/12 - 06:12 pm
1
0
RCandrews what magical real

RCandrews what magical realm do you live in?....Deploy??? Summoned? These are words used by tree hugging hippies who are tough guys behind the key board. Police officers are first responders. They are first to arrive at accidents, armed robberies, burglaries ant etc... God forbid a deputy can't catch the suspect burglarizing your house because his patrol car broke down. And no you do not drive your truck harder than a patrol car....because if you did, you would have a whole new car after a year. We patrol to protect citizens like you, the least that tax payer money can do is make sure we have the right equipment for the job....and finally I want you to remember that each member of the RCSO is a tax paying citizen too. Our money is also paying for these cars.

rcandrews
127
Points
rcandrews 09/01/12 - 11:24 pm
0
0
The road to h e l l is paved with good intentions.

The first responder to any scene is not a public servant.

The first responder is the one who is there, after that yes the police are responders but ONLY because they were summoned and by no means “first” responders.

Or are you suggesting you are omnipotent?

This notion that we should pay for “what might happen” is some how needed is The Nanny State.

No scientific data or otherwise demonstrates it lowers crime.

The 2nd amendment protects me from burglars.

And should my home be burglarized when I am not home that is what insurance is for.

I guess next you will want a tank?

Would you like a bazooka with that over blown ego?

You seem to think only cops have the right to protect my property. I assure you, that is not the case.

Not to mention but I will didn’t a judge just recently kill a man in his home and no questions were ever asked?

However had that been me you and your ilk would have deemed me a murderer and drug me across the coals.

Also reading comprehension is required.

Where did I ever state the police shouldn’t be properly equipped?

All I stated was driving all over the place “patrolling” was not needed or required and spending what is spent on a vehicle after 70k – 100k miles is absurd on the maintenance end of things.

And YES deploy officers to where ever you need to then sit there until you are summoned.

Don’t like being a servant win the lottery.

And to address your last point, those of you paid with tax dollars paying taxes with money you earned from tax dollars is what again besides circular reasoning?

I am not advocating we don’t need cops but what we don’t need is over zealous cops or government looking to save me from myself because something MIGHT happen.

I live in one of Augusta’s high crime areas, all be it B&E’s mostly with the occasional death, nonetheless.

Your patrolling has never stopped any of the B&E’s or deaths.
That stated the cop that normally does cruise our neighborhood is a pretty cool guy as are most cops and we have and talk all the time.

One of the things that bugs me and him to no end is people who call all the time for no good reason save their shadow scared them.

Now I ask you what could have possibly scared these people into such a state of mind save fear mongering?

And by the way I have never hugged a tree I didn't put a chainsaw to.

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