While they’ll still have their familiar black and white colors, some of the most visible and recognized vehicles on the road are going green.
The department — looking to be more fuel efficient — bought two 2020 Ford police hybrids — an SUV type squad vehicle this June and bought an electric motorcycle at the end of September.
Chief of Police Greg Leck says the department is benefiting from this change both financially and it’s helping out the environment as well.
The hybrid squad cars are both electric and gasoline-powered engines, while the motorcycle is 100% electric.
Leck said the two hybrid cars have saved the department about 30% on fuel versus the regular squad cars.
Other benefits the EV’s have made is how quiet they are compared to their non EV vehicles. By making less noise Leck says it has helped assist them to patrol the city as they barely make a sound.
“It’s literally silent,” said Leck.
As the squad cars help patrol the streets, the motorcycles are expected to be used for traffic control and park and recreational trail patrol.
A more complete transition to hybrid vehicles has been delayed for the department because of production issues during COVID-19, but the city still plans to add more EV’s in the future.
They are also looking into e-bikes, which are regular bicycles with electric motors attached to them.
Leck anticipates using e-bikes to help staff on non-electric bicycles maintain stamina and endurance.
The department’s response to the new hybrid vehicles has been “very positive,” said Leck.
“Our staff is able to get much quicker acceleration from the electric motor assist while staying quiet all at the same time.”
With EVs being more of a standard for police departments now, Leck is confident they are here to stay.
“We’re just getting started with it all, but we are seeing the real benefit,” he said.