When you think of a police car, you probably envision the Ford Crown Victoria, long the choice of law enforcement agencies all over North America, including here in Austin.
But Ford has decided to stop making them, so APD is making a switch, mainly to a utility vehicle based on the Ford Explorer.
“The Explorer is going to be deployed to patrol, so it’s going to be the most common and the one most residents are going to see," says Austin Police Lieutenant Andy Michael.
He says in addition to the Explorers, which they call "Utility Interceptors," there are sedans, called "Police Interceptors." Those are based on the Ford Taurus and used for highway patrols.
Lt. Michael says the Utility Interceptors have some clear advantages for police officers.
“They like being in a utility vehicle because it does offer them a little bit more room and a lot better visibility; they’re sitting up a lot higher. The package allows for pursuit-rated driving, which is something that utility vehicles haven’t had," he says.
One other advantage of the Explorers over the old Crown Vics: better gas mileage from their V6 engines, saving the city some gas money.