Last year, assistant police chief Mike Cochran of Lauderhill, Fl., drove a Ford Crown Victoria cruiser that got about 14 miles per gallon. Now, says USA Today, he drives a Chevrolet Malibu that gets about 30 mpg on the highway. “We started trying to segue away from the gas hogs,” Cochran said. “When we can, and where we can, we are trying to put officers in more fuel-efficient vehicles.” A growing number of law enforcement agencies are chasing better fuel economy.
The New York City Police Department has about 100 hybrid vehicles in its 5,800-vehicle fleet. Seattle police now have 38 hybrids. Traditionally, police agencies sought cars with powerful engines, strong suspensions, and back seats big enough to haul away criminals. The Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is still the “the police car of choice, with 80 percent of the market,” said a Ford spokesman.