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NYPD Using Hybrids for Patrol Duty
Hybrid electric vehicles are a possible option where the duty cycle can take advantage of a hybrid’s characteristics to achieve the greatest economic and environmental benefits. This usually means locations with lots of stop-and-go traffic.
Several law enforcement agencies around the country have hybrid vehicles in their fleets, but they are usually used for administrative duties. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is one of the first departments to use hybrid police cars for first line marked and unmarked patrol car duty. The NYPD has recently deployed 40 Nissan Altima Hybrids for such duty. Eighteen Altima Hybrids will wear NYPD marking, and 22 will be unmarked cars.
The Altima Hybrids are manufactured in Smyrna, TN. The NYPD units are outfitted with the normal equipment needed for patrol duty. They will serve alongside Chevrolet Impala and Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars. The NYPD also uses Dodge Chargers, mainly for highway patrol.
The Altima Hybrids get 35 mpg under city driving conditions. This is more than double that of Impala police cars that only get 16 mpg. At over $25,000 a copy, these hybrids cost about $1,500 more than the Impala. However, through fuel savings, the Altima Hybrid can quickly recover this added cost and then save taxpayers substantial amounts of money. At the end of a year of performance monitoring, the NYPD will determine whether to purchase more of the hybrids.
The NYPD already uses both hybrid vehicles and electric scooters for parking enforcement. NYPD duty captains use 10 GMC Yukon Hybrid SUVs for marked patrol duty. Finally, police officers use T3 Motion Electric Security Vehicles to patrol city parks, stadiums and beaches.
Published in Police Fleet Manager, Sep/Oct 2009
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