Today Wichita Falls Police have received approval from the City Council to purchase 11 new police interceptor utility vehicles. The city will be getting rid of 11 old crown victoria's have over 150,000 miles on them. Public Information Officer Sergeant John Spragins says that these new vehicles will help them be per-pared to respond in any weather.
"Fortunately, we don't have a whole lot of icy weather. The new police utility vehicle is an all wheel drive vehicle, basically it runs in a front wheel drive mode unless there is a situation where all wheel drive is needed. So the sensors inside the vehicle sense when the conditions are needed for all wheel drive. It tremendously increases the traction for the vehicles when we've had the bad weather. Since we've had the vehicles they've worked out super for us."
The old crown victoria's were a problem in the winter weather because they had to be chained up which Spragins says caused lots of problems. It not only took up time to chain up the tires, but also it cost money to replace chains that broke from being worn down. When chains pop Spragins says they can cut up the tires and even pop them. You can even see dent marks from broken chains on some of the old crown victoria's.
Another new addition is sensors on the backs of the new vehicles that let the officer know if there is anything behind them if they are backing up. However, not everything is new. WFPD are able to take the computer council systems from the old car and install them in the new cars. Spragins says that WFPD will save a total installation fee of $400 dollars per vehicle. They have added a new swinging arm attachment for the computers.
The cameras are now mounted on the dashboard and emergency lights can now be controlled from the wheels. The new utility vehicles will be purchased from a local vendor at a cost of $309,176.01 dollars. Once the new vehicles arrive the department will have a total of 33 units with the four wheel drive features.