New police cars cruise into Tampa

October 17, 2012 by  

A Tampa Bay Times article from October 15 reports that police in Tampa, Florida, are saying goodbye to an old friend. Ford Motor Company is no longer building the iconic Crown Victoria, which has been the cruiser of choice for many police departments for decades. Departments like Tampa are looking for a replacement.

Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge all offer vehicles that are suitable for police use. In order to make a choice, the Tampa police test-drove the likeliest candidates: the Chevrolet Caprice PPV, the Ford Interceptor, and the Dodge Charger. They bought two of each and then arranged for officers and instructors to drive them, swap them around so others could drive them, and report on their performance. These reports, plus the cost of the auto and its features, gave the lead to the Charger.

Tampa police say that no one vehicle was the “perfect police car” but the Dodge apparently came closest since it gets good mileage and boasts a safety rating of five stars. It was also the least expensive of the three.

Following the test drives, which took all summer, the Tampa police decided to buy approximately 50 Dodge Charger Pursuits at a total cost of about $1.1 million. It is expected that the new vehicles will be on the road early in 2013.

Tampa police could print brochures to familiarize officers with the features of the new patrol cars, as well as printing flyers to invite the public to see the new cruisers.