Monday, August 24, 2009

Mixing up the fleet

For about the past 15 years, LPD has used Ford Crown Victorias exclusively for our marked sedans. The Crown Vic is a fine police patrol car, but this year we decided to add a little diversity to the mix, so we ordered two Dodge Chargers and two Chevrolet Impalas as well. We wanted to get some experience under our belt with a couple of other models.

I haven’t heard much comment about the Impalas, but the Chargers are certainly getting noticed around town. Several people have commented about them to me, and this photo, snapped by a local citizen at Haymarket Park, was posted on Flickr. Nice image!


23 comments:

Herb said...

Kudos to the employees at the Garage for keeping the fleet up as well as they do. With the budgetary challenges the department faces, they continue to do solid work!

Anonymous said...

I love the look of the Dodge Charger. If the Charger passes muster, you should order more and phase out the Crown Vic's.

Granted, the Vic's are nice, but a new look would definately freshen up the fleet.

Anonymous said...

I have a comment about the Impala. It is not easy on the eyes and just plain does not look right with sirens on it. Not sure how functional it is on the street but I heard it is not designed to transport individuals and we seem to do that a lot in our business.

Anonymous said...

Why does one of the Chargers have different decals on it?

Anonymous said...

I hope the side decals don't fade with car washes as some have on some on the cruisers in town.

Car washes are hard on those danged decals, and when ever I see a faded one I wonder why it hasn't been touched up.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Ive heard some comments about Impalas from some officers in another agency. Decorum prevents me from repeating them here, but let's say they weren't very positive.

Anonymous said...

We had a rental Dodge Charger on vacation last fall -- it was a 2008 with 15k on it. And it was so junky and cheap. I know people say "it was a rental car and everyone treats rental cars badly." My response is that I don't treat them badly. But this car had fit and finish problems and wasn't very comfortable. These are not issues caused by disrespectful owners but by poorly designed cars. We though the visibility (which I define as the view of the outside I get while inside the car) was especially poor. It was also difficult to get into and out of (and we are not our of the range of normal-sized people).

But if officers like the vehicle, I guess that's all that matters. I do hope, though, that they do not need extraordinary maintenance to keep them roadworthy. I'm not sure that "look of the vehicle" should be the highest priority when ordering new cars for the fleet.

Trevor Brass said...

Does having a mixed fleet of vehicles raise your maintenance costs when hunting for parts? Besides, who gets first pick of the whizzer rides?

Anonymous said...

Chief how about some pictures of the new cars with black and white decals? Is that a trial run or will all cars be finished that way?

Grundle King said...

Any plans on adding one of these to the fleet?

http://www.carbonmotors.com/

Anonymous said...

I also like the looks of the Chargers. Must agree with most that the Impala's aren't as appealing. I also assume that the Chargers might run a little more and the Impala's less then in comparison to a Crown Vic price? But once again, the chargers are nice to look at.

Tom Casady said...

Grundle King:

You must have missed my mention of the Carbon Motors vehicle last year.

8:46-

No, I think they both have standard graphics.

9:08-

We had one particularly bad lot of decals.

Trevor Brass-

Persistent rumors of Ford dropping the Crown Vic circulate. Probably good not to have all eggs in one basket.

9:56-

We have one vehicle running around with a black/gray color scheme on the decals--just testing that look out. We've got another plan for graphics, so you may see a couple of other versions in the next few months installed on a single car.

Anonymous said...

Some of the current decals are so faded I didn't think it was an actual police car until I saw a legitimate officer behind the wheel. Looked like an auction buy.

Vehicles that look neglected don't look professional.

Anonymous said...

Someone did a good job photoshopping that cruiser picture! Looks even cooler than in person.

Anonymous said...

Chief, any way more of the cruisers could have half cages in the back? More room for the driver. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Little short today. Gee even the crooks know you are short.

Anonymous said...

It is understandable that LPD, being the good stewards of public funding that they are, would not replace the faded few until the lifecycle of the car is complete.

Sounds like good management to me. There are more important items to consider than appearances.

Tom Casady said...

1:30-

If they work out OK, that would be the plan.

Anonymous said...

Chief, if we end up going to the Chargers are they going to be a V6 or V8. It would be nice to drive around a Hemi, but I know that would cost $$$$. I really hope that the V8's would win your heart over.

Ryan said...

Chief,
It's usually considered good form to give credit the the citizen that was "snapped" by a local citizen.

Tom Casady said...

Ryan,

Yes, I know, but the only identifier is a screen name, "RLEVANS."

Great photo, though.

HuskEric said...

I LOVE the chargers. The PR it give off seems good. The car seems to say "I'm professional and beautiful, but if you decide to try to evade, I WILL catch you."

It's a confident but friendly car. Much like you want a police force to be!

Old School said...

As an Officer I appreciate the interest in our Department, and what we drive. After 26 years of driving all sorts of Police Vehicles, I can say with some certainty that most Officers really don't care what we drive, as long as it is in good shape. We have a first rate crew working on our cars, in spite of how some Officers treat them. The Garage staff does not get enough recognition for the great work they do, and more Officers should realize that.