AP NEWS

Salt Lake City police officers criticize new hybrid vehicle

November 12, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Some officers from the Salt Lake City Police Department have warned city leaders that new hybrid sedans are too small.

The Ford Fusion Responder hybrid sedan was “not designed for police work,” and “a danger to anyone that may need a police response,” several officers who tested out the car said in a review.

There were concerns with safety in the event of a collision and lack of all-wheel drive in wintry conditions, KUTV-TV reported Monday.

Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s office argued that replacing police cruisers with hybrid models is more sustainable.

A city fleet committee was created and tasked with determining how to spend $4 million that was allocated to replace old police cruisers, city leaders said. The city bought 110 of the hybrid vehicles.

“Our cars are literally falling apart,” Chief Mike Brown said. “We’re dumping $3,000 to $5,000 of repairs yearly to these cars that are worth $500 scrap.”

Dozens of patrol officers are driving cars that are more than a decade old, some with more than 150,000 miles (241,400 kilometers).

“The (Responder hybrid sedan) doesn’t have to be throughout the department. There are different assignments that don’t need (an SUV),” Brown said.

Brown said he would need to work with the new city administration about what car the city’s patrol officers will drive, which could mean the city would have to pay more for a hybrid SUV.

___

Information from: KUTV-TV, http://www.kutv.com/