Port Townsend Police Officer Luke Bogues with one of three new Ford Police Interceptors now in service with the city's police department. — Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

Port Townsend Police Officer Luke Bogues with one of three new Ford Police Interceptors now in service with the city's police department. — Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

Port Townsend police replace 3 Crown Victorias with more efficient Police Interceptors

PORT TOWNSEND — Three new crossover police cruisers are now on the streets, making the city Police Department more current, efficient and attractive, officers say.

And along the way, the new vehicles get better gas mileage.

“Our cars lead a hard life driving around Port Townsend,” said Officer Luke Bogues, the department’s spokesman.

“We expect these new vehicles to hold up better than the Crown Victorias we replaced.

“These are a real step forward.”

The Ford Crown Victoria, for years the preferred law enforcement vehicle, was discontinued in 2011, after which time police departments around the country scrambled for solutions.

The Ford Police Interceptor, based on the company’s popular Explorer SUV, has become the preferred option for many departments, Bogues said

Port Townsend police officers are assigned to specific cars, and the new vehicles will be allocated to those with the most seniority: Sgt. Joe Kaare, Sgt. Troy Surber and Officer Sherry Erickson.

The Interceptor utility model was selected after two years of analyzing patrol vehicles from three manufacturers and gathering input from other agencies.

“This seems to be the vehicle that is leading the way to replace the Crown Victoria,” Bogues said.

“Agencies that got the smaller vehicles found they didn’t have enough room to transport all their gear.”

After hearing reports that vehicle models other than the Police Interceptor utility vehicles reported the cars were difficult to maintain, too small for officers and detainees, used too much fuel,and were made overseas, the department selected the vehicles, which cost about $50,000 each.

The purchase, which replaces cars from the 2003 and 2004 model years, was made using the equipment repair and replacement fund, a budgeted expense the department pays into annually for repair and eventual replacement of every fleet vehicle.

Replacement of other Crown Victoria police cars in the fleet, some of which are now approaching 12 years old, is anticipated in coming years.

“I could get a new cruiser this year, or the next,” said Bogues, who is a bit farther down on the seniority list.

Aside from better mileage — 15 miles per gallon as opposed to a Crown Victoria’s 11 mpg — the new vehicles save power with an integrated lighting system rather than the more power-intensive light bars on the older cars.

“This increases mileage because the light bars on the top of the vehicle increases drag on the wind,” Bogues said.

The available technology is comparable, including built-in radar, dash cameras and telecommunication equipment.

One difference is a fully integrated computer as opposed to the standard laptops that are used by other officers.

The Interceptor is an American-made crossover built on a car chassis but offers more room inside, similar to that of a sport utility vehicle.

The same model is being adopted by other agencies such as the sheriff’s offices in Jefferson and Kitsap counties, the Sequim and Bremerton police departments and the Washington State Patrol.

The difference, according to Bogues, is the color: a dark metallic blue that contrasts with the other cars in the Port Townsend fleet, which are white.

“We want to be uniquely Port Townsend and symbolize that these are our cars,” Bogues said of the color choice.

The new vehicles are roomier. The rear storage area has a lot more space for all the required equipment than a standard trunk on other patrol car models, Bogues said.

The back seat, which is actually a form-fitting piece of plastic, is closer to the floor and has increased foot space, making it more adaptable to animal-control calls than a standard cruiser.

“People aren’t getting any smaller,” Bogues said.

“We were in situations where people were compliant until they saw the little back seats and didn’t want to get inside, and it became a risk to their safety and our safety.”

Aside from the increased back-seat room the plastic is easier to clean messes left behind by animals or humans.

Bogues said the new four-wheel-drive vehicles are easier to manage in the snow than the Crown Victorias, which were powered by V8 engines and rear-wheel drive.

________

Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

About 30 sailboats compete in the Port Townsend Sailing Association’s 33rd annual Shipwrights Regatta on Port Townsend Bay on Saturday. More of a fun event than a sailing competition, awards are given out during a pizza party afterward for the most navigationally challenged (Directional Helmet trophy) and for the “saltiest” boat and crew. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Shipwrights Regatta

About 30 sailboats compete in the Port Townsend Sailing Association’s 33rd annual… Continue reading

The City of Sequim hosts 13 manufactured home/mobile home parks with 596 existing units and 786 approved dwelling units. City staff continue to look into zoning options that could protect these sites from redevelopment to help protect affordable housing options in the city. (City of Sequim)
Sequim extends its mobile home moratorium

City staff to work preserving manufactured housing option

Olympic Medical Center chief outlines efforts at improvements

Decreased number of travelers among them

Jay and Trudi Inslee wear red for #WearRedDay to support women’s heart health in 2022. (Jay Inslee)
Gov. Inslee reflects in his final year of three terms

On the second level of the white and gray marbled… Continue reading

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
Chris Johnson of Nordland-based Nordland Construction loads traffic drums onto a trailer as coworker Robert Bufford prepares to secure the load as the pair prepares to open the parking lot at Port Angeles City Pier to automobiles on Friday. The work was part of a project to improve storm drainage, replace damaged sidewalks and ADA ramps and mitigate shoreline erosion around the lot, which had been closed since early January. Tree replacement and other project detail work is expected to follow over the next few weeks.
City Pier parking open

Chris Johnson of Nordland-based Nordland Construction loads traffic drums onto a trailer… Continue reading

Sequim Citizen of the Year luncheon on Tuesday

Emiko Brock, Labbe, Olsen to be honored

EYE ON THE PENINSULA: Broadband, public health before county boards

Government meetings across North Olympic Peninsula

A pair of Clallam Transit buses sit at The Gateway Transit Center in Port Angeles in preparation for their fixed-route runs on Thursday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Clallam Transit sees large rise in ridership

No issues seen with new zero-fare policy

Plans move ahead for Quilcene skate park

Jefferson County, volunteers seek grants

Peninsula College Foundation reports record levels of giving

Programs, students both recipients of funds

County to repave section of Carlsborg Road

Clallam County commissioners will consider awarding a contract for… Continue reading

A paving crew from Lakeside Industries replaces pavement on the Waterfront Trail and the entrance to the Port Angeles City Pier parking lot on Wednesday as part of a project to improve sidewalks and storm water drainage around the site. The project is expected to be substantially completed and the parking lot reopened by mid-March. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Port Angeles City Pier

A paving crew from Lakeside Industries replaces pavement on the Waterfront Trail… Continue reading