CHP shifting to SUVs for patrol cars

Traditional sedans available are too small, the agency says

By PoliceOne Staff

California Highway Patrol officials want the agency to switch to SUVs.

Large, roomy Ford Police Interceptors will be introduced to the CHP's 4,000-vehicle fleet this fall, the Los Angeles Times reported

CHP Assistant Chief Erik Knudsen said both the Explorer Police Interceptor and Ford Police Interceptor sedan are being reviewed, but that it's likely mainly SUVs will be purchased.

"The utility is probably going to be our primary vehicle," Knudsen said of the Explorer. "The Crown Vic had a much higher payload capacity than all these new sedans coming out. Unfortunately the design of the new sedans is becoming smaller and lighter."

The Explorer Police Interceptor gets approximately 16 miles per gallon on urban roads and 21 on highways, which is better than the Crown Victoria, according to Ford's website.

The CHP phases out roughly one-third of its enforcement vehicles each year.

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