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Richmond County Sheriff's Office's new car gets good reviews

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Two months after hitting Augusta streets, the new Ford Police In­terceptors have caused few complaints.

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Martinez, who got the car last Friday, said he is still getting used to it. The vehicles aren't arriving as fast as the sheriff's office had hoped.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Martinez, who got the car last Friday, said he is still getting used to it. The vehicles aren't arriving as fast as the sheriff's office had hoped.

Though it will take several thousand miles before the Rich­mond County Sheriff’s Of­­fice can really get a grasp on the vehicle’s performance, the response so far has been positive.

“I haven’t had any negative feedback,” Maj. Jim Griffin said. “They’re more responsive and have more horsepower than the Crown Victorias, and the all-wheel drive makes a difference.”

When Ford announced it would discontinue the Crown Vic­tor­ia sedans after 2011, local agencies were faced with a choice among a new Ford model (the Interceptor), the Chev­rolet Caprice or Im­pala, and the Dodge Char­ger.

Columbia County, the Geor­gia State Patrol and Aiken Public Safety chose the Charger, which they had experience with.

Richmond County was the largest local police agency to choose the new Ford model.

“Over the years I’ve driven them all, and to me, Ford makes the best car for the job we do,” Griffin said.

The challenge is getting the cars. Capt. Scott Gay said issues with backorders from the after-market manufacturers are slowing the process.

About 20 cars are on the street, with another 20 expected before the first order will be complete.

One of the few complaints from deputies is the size of the vehicle. Though the interior is nearly the same size as the Crown Victoria’s, the new model’s doors don’t swing open quite as far, Gay said.

Some officers also say the car, which sits up slightly more in the back and has a smaller rear window, causes some difficulty while backing.

Initially, the department was concerned the car might alarm people not used to the new look. It asked anyone who questioned whether they were being pulled over by a deputy to call 911 for verification.

So far, that issue has not come up, but the car’s appearance has.

“I’ve heard rumors a few times that people said (the cars) look mean or scary,” Grif­fin said. “I don’t know that they’re being critical, but
it’s definitely a different appearance. It kind of reminds me of the RoboCop car.”

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Riverman1 11/12/12 - 05:24 pm
Ram Safe?

I wonder how they stand up to being rammed? They should test one of them. I know who to get for the test, too.

Retired Army
Retired Army 11/13/12 - 12:48 am
Ford purchased Volvo some

Ford purchased Volvo some years ago simply to get at their saftey tachnology. As a result the new Taurus(originally the 500)has some of the best crash results to be had on the market.

Superior handling under all conditions with computer controlled all wheel drive, better power with improved gas mileage, lower overall maintenance costs the only test left is durability. But with 6 or 7 years to develop the platform on real world automobiles and no major reports of strutcual failure, I think the taxpayers of Richmond County will be well served by the new tech.

soapy_725 11/13/12 - 06:46 am
Side mirrors, rear view mirrors?

Rear camera display on the rear view mirror? Do they back up like a female? Or a professional driver who uses the mirrors?

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