Most significant about this transition is the look of a modern SUV, said Police Capt. Eric Finn.
"After several months of officers' test driving both the Ford Interceptor sedan and its SUV, it was determined that the SUV provided everything the officers were looking for in a patrol vehicle," Finn said.
He added that the era of the 4.6-liter V8 gas guzzler is out and the 3.7-liter V6, offering 16 to 21 mpg, is in as the city and police department begin purchasing only fuel-efficient vehicles.
The sedan and SUV are mounted on the same chassis and therefore offer the same handling and maneuverability. However, Finn said, the SUV has far more room for the equipment requirements of the modern day police officer and supervisor in the field. The SUV also offers increased safety with side impact airbags, a feature not offered in the sedans.
"The Pleasanton Police Department is staying with the traditional look of black and white patrol vehicles, and we believe the SUV will offer even greater visibility in the community, although it may take some time getting used to SUVs with light bars and push bumpers," Finn said.
Squad cars in the current fleet are mostly 2008 and 2009 vehicles. The department deferred the purchase of several vehicles over the last few years as a cost-saving measure and took the mileage up on the existing fleet to over 120,000 miles in some instances.
The department will replace 12 vehicles this fiscal year with the remaining fleet being replaced over the next 12 months, Finn said.