EPD Unveils New Squad Cars Featuring Upgraded Communications Equipment

Coming to a street near you, the Evansville Police Department has rolled out its newest fleet of patrol vehicles. The 23 new Ford police interceptors feature new technology, allowing officers to be more efficient and better connected while on the job.

Earlier this month, EPD began putting the new vehicles into rotation. The vehicles were leased by the city using money that was appropriated in the 2016 budget. Typically, the city will either lease or buy around a dozen new patrol vehicles every year. With the city's 2012 lease of dozens of vehicles expiring this year, the city opted to lease more than it usually does.

The lease of the new vehicles was funded through the city's Riverboat fund.

"Without those funds, we wouldn't be able to buy police cars, fire trucks, fire vehicles and what other capital equipment our departments are in need of," said Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer. "Public safety is a large majority of our overall budget and a significant part of our CIP or capital improvement budget."

The new patrol vehicles have upgraded communications equipment, allowing officers to be connected to the internet as well as all of the department's computer systems while in the car.

The department opted to go with the Ford police interceptors because, among other things, it provides more leg room in the front and back seats.

Deputy Mayor Schaefer said more than 100 of the vehicles used by the police department have 100,000 miles or more, putting greater emphasis on routinely getting new vehicles. It costs around $12,000 to $15,000 to fully equip one car.

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