More money interceptors on their way to VBPD to replace police cars with SUVs
VERO BEACH – The Vero Beach Police Department has a plan in place for a complete fleet facelift – phasing out the black and white police car to a sports utility vehicle for function, comfort and to ‘stay in it’. the times â.
Several of the vehicles have been on the road for nearly a year and have received “only positive” comments, police officials said.
By 2027, you will no longer be able to rely on scanning the horizon or checking in the rearview mirror of an obvious black-and-white police car if you exceed the speed limit a few miles or stop. anywhere within the city limits. .
Look for a silver shark SUV instead.
It was then that a police official said the new Ford Interceptors would fully replace the famous Dodge Charger in use since 2014.
The police department introduced 13 of the interceptors to its fleet in March, and just under a year on the road, officials said 10 more were on their way to the town garage following a news report. order this year.
âWe will slowly integrate the fleet as older vehicles become obsolete,â said Sgt. Brian Kerensky. âWe’ll equip them over time (and) we’ll end up having an entire fleet of SUVs. “
Kerensky was part of a two-person team, which he said was responsible for finding new vehicles and choosing all options and add-ons, including color and logo design.
âWe have provided our input to the agents throughout the process,â he said. âThe officers were more concerned with the items in the vehicleâ¦ we got feedback from them on what they liked and what they didn’t like. “
Although most people only ever see the exterior of a police car, Kerensky said that with 12-hour shifts largely spent sitting in vehicles, officers were concerned about things like interior space. and storage capacity.
The ease of access for officers who repeatedly get in and out of an SUV is a plus, but also for the ease of placing people in the back after an arrest or during transport. he declares.
âGetting prisoners in and out of the vehicleâ¦ becomes a little easier when you have more room to work,â Kerensky said. “Trying to have a taller person in the back of the Charger was a lot more complicated than it is now.”
In addition to additional space in the front for laptops and storage in the back for supplies, Kerensky said the rear seat is covered in plastic, making it easier to clean up liquids and makes it more difficult to conceal drugs, paraphernalia or weapons.
Silver police SUV body cuts costs
The silver body and dominant black logo over a two-tone paint job helped keep costs down, he said.
âThe modern look is something we wanted to spendâ¦ keeping track of time and getting a vehicle that had enough space,â he said.
The department replaces vehicles approximately every seven years, making spare parts for older models.
Although comfort and function dominated the choice of both vehicles, he said, if necessary, they are all perfectly capable of performing in a chase.
âWe don’t have a lot of prosecutions (but) they are categorized as prosecution,â he said. “(There is) no concern of how one is going to function in one chase versus another.”
The first order for 13 Ford Interceptors valued at $ 675,107.25 was placed under contract with the state and purchased from a dealer in Jacksonville in 2020, Kerensky said. The second order, placed this year, was for $ 498,361.50.
Funding for the vehicles came from the 1 cent sales tax.
Besides patrol cars and SUVs, the department also has motorcycles, bicycles, an all-terrain vehicle and next year it will buy a boat, Kerensky said.
The motorcycle unit was replaced along with the purchase of the 13 interceptors and much of the same decision-making was made in the selection of the new motorcycles.
Vero Beach Police Ride BMW Motorcycles
At $ 59,1333.70, the department replaced its two Kawasaki motorcycles with a touring-style BMW model purchased from a Palm Bay dealership.
It was a shift from the Kawasaki’s more aggressive forward squatting position, Kerensky said, to the BMW’s upright riding position.
So far, after nine months of use, he said officers and the public seem to be fans of the new SUVs.
âThe feedback has been only positive,â Kerensky said.
Corey Arwood is a breaking reporter for TCPalm. Follow Corey on Twitter @coreyarwood, or reach him by phone at 772-978-2246.
This article originally appeared in Treasure Coast Newspapers: New Vero Beach Police SUVs: No More Silver Interceptors En route