The Oakland Police Department unveiled new Ford Police Interceptor sport utility vehicles today that will replace some of the Crown Victoria cars it currently uses. The department will receive a total of 82 of the new vehicles over the next months. The first ones the city has received have been used to train officers. Interim Police Chief Sean Whent said in a statement, “The addition of these new vehicles to our fleet is greatly needed and very much appreciated.”
Whent said, “Reliable police cars are an essential tool in effective crime-fighting. Our officers rely on them not only to respond to calls for service but they often serve as office space for report writing and preliminary investigations so dependability and safety are important.” Oakland officials said they had to select a new type of vehicle to be the standard for the Police Department because the Crown Victoria is no longer produced.
They said they selected the Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicle because it had the highest score when the Police Department and the Public Works Agency Equipment Services Division conducted an analysis of vehicles’ safety ratings, fuel consumption, lifecycle costs, maintainability, performance ratings, ergonomics and officer acceptance. City officials also said the new vehicle offers safety and environmental improvements over the Crown Victoria.
They said the Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicle provides more space for officers and their equipment and includes new features such as a backup camera, blind-spot monitoring and stability control to reduce the risk of accidents. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said, “Public safety is my highest priority and this roll-out marks another step in our progress toward a safer Oakland.” City officials said funding for the new vehicles comes from an $11.8 million lease-purchase program approved by City Council earlier this year. The program is also paying for 36 parking enforcement vehicles, 4 fire apparatus vehicles, 6 street sweepers and vehicles for other city departments.
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