Planet Gore

“That Doesn’t Make ‘Em Police Cars”

The NYPD is going “green”:

In a pilot program aimed at both saving fuel and reducing pollution, the department has shelled out $1.1 million so far to buy and outfit the new ecofriendly cars — built at the Japanese auto company’s plant in Smyrna, Tenn. — which run on combination gas-electric engines.

While the NYPD already uses some hybrid sedans and SUVs for parking enforcement and duty captains, this is the first time it’s putting green cars on the beat.

“We won’t know whether they are suitable for wider use until they are subjected to the NYPD’s demanding environment, which includes virtual 24-hour-a-day operation by multiple drivers,” said spokesman Paul Browne.

If it performs, the fuel-efficient hybrids may eventually replace the gas guzzlers that make up the current 3,254-vehicle patrol fleet of mostly Ford Crown Victorias and Chevy Impalas. Those get 16 to 18 mpg in the city — compared to 35 mpg expected from the Altimas.

To start, the NYPD has outfitted 18 hybrids as marked patrol cars, bringing the $21,500 base cost to $30,752 per car. Another 20 are unmarked ($25,595 each), and two are disguised as yellow cabs for anticrime work ($28,600 each).

Some cops doubt that the Altima, which meets California emission standards, is tough or safe enough.

“The NYPD can paint ‘em, slap decals and lights and siren on ‘em, but that still doesn’t make ‘em police cars,” griped a blogger officer on a chat site.


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