May 3, 2016

APD says they need SUVs because officers too big for cars

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Jordan Meeter

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You may see more Albuquerque Police Department officers in SUVs soon, if chief Gorden Eden has his way.

Flickr cc

Jordan Meeter

APD police chief Gorden Eden say some officer can’t fit in these Dodge Chargers Flickr cc

Eden told city councilors that he preferred the SUVs, Ford Explorers, to the current Dodge Charger. One reason is that “some officers are simply too big to fit comfortably in a Dodge Charger,” the Albuquerque Journal reported.

APD moved to the Chargers from the classic Ford Crown Victoria at least in part because the Charger has a more powerful engine.

Related: Council defeats proposal to cut APD brass’ pay if reforms not met

APD Chief Gorden Eden told the city councilors that Ford Explorers are cheaper than Chargers as well. The recent mayor’s budget included $1.5 million, which would replace 34 police vehicles.

APD seeks to replace 90 police vehicles each year, according to the Journal.

When APD first switched to the Charger, some officers complained of dizziness. The problem is that Chargers are high performance cars and they are not intended to idle, according to a KOAT-TV report at the time.

APD banned officers from idling in the cars until the cars could be modified.

New Mexico News Port, a student publication out of the University of New Mexico, looked at some other problems with the Chargers.

APD first ordered the Chargers in 2011, and after a few years of using them, some problems became apparent.  The larger motors did allow for the cars to be faster but this caused the brakes to wear out faster.

“Instead of the 5.7 liter V8 (engines in the Charger), this one is a six cylinder (engine in the new SUVs). It is our plan to save money on brakes, tires,” said APD Detective Nick Kraemer, who has been assigned to the Operations Review Division for just over a year and is in charge of ordering the cars and the accessories they require.

Many cars required new brakes and new brake rotors in their short life times and it was costing the city money.  As a result, APD already has plans to move away from them. Now after just a few short years, APD will be moving away from the Chargers and going back to Ford who has reintroduced the police interceptor package this time on the Ford Explorer SUV crossover vehicle.

It’s not clear if or when APD will begin the transition to the larger Ford Explorers.


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